It's about time we get up to date with other States
The Wisconsin state Department of Justice has issued 15 concealed weapons permits to retired agents, making them the only former state police officers who can pack pistols in public in Wisconsin.
Other state agencies, such as the State Patrol and Capitol Police, don't allow their retirees to carry concealed guns, despite a 2004 federal law allowing the practice in some cases. Around the state, there is a patchwork of retirees who can carry weapons because local police and sheriff's offices issue the permits.
Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states that don't allow the general public to get licenses to carry concealed weapons. The issue has been fiercely debated here, with Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle twice vetoing such bills.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in June issued the first concealed weapons permit to a Division of Criminal Investigation retiree. He said at the time he would issue them to other qualifying retirees who wanted them and that he hoped his decision would show other state agencies that they could issue the permits too.
But the other state agencies have declined to do so because there are no state standards for issuing the permits.
After issuing one permit to a retired agent in June, the Department of Justice sent letters to all eligible retirees letting them know the permits were available. Of the 50 or so contacted, 14 said they wanted to get them. They shot on the range in September and were given permits that are good for one year. The retirees have to meet the same standards as current agents, said Mike Myszewski, who heads the division.
"I think the program is working very well," Myszewski said. "These are people who spent their adult lives in law enforcement."
State Patrol Superintendent David Collins said he had not seen any increased interest for permits from retired troopers since Van Hollen began issuing the permits. Collins has raised concerns in the past about people's ability to make split-second decisions if they've been out of law enforcement for years.
Under the 2004 federal law, police agencies can permit former officers to carry concealed firearms if they retired in good standing, worked as an officer for 15 years or more, have met state firearms training standards within the past year, and are not otherwise barred from possessing a firearm under federal law.
But some argue such permits can't be issued in Wisconsin because the state does not set training standards for law enforcement agencies. Van Hollen, a Republican, has maintained law enforcement agencies have the power to issue the permits.
"I believe it is important to put our money where our mouth is," he said in a statement. "By having the Department of Justice take the lead when it comes to providing one of our own retired law enforcement officers with a permit to carry a concealed firearm, I believe it shows that we have the confidence in local law enforcement agencies in their ability to do this on their own."
Van Hollen lobbied for a bill that would have set criteria for police agencies for issuing the permits and given them immunity from lawsuits. Neither house took up the bill before the Legislature adjourned in March, however.
John Palmer, 62, retired from the Department of Justice in 2003 after 26 years. Now a part-time private investigator, he said he decided to get a concealed weapons permit but didn't plan to carry a gun often.
"I would only be using it when I felt it would be needed for my own security," he said.
Retiree Greg Eggum, 63, said he decided to get a permit because it gave him a chance to spend some time with his former colleagues on the shooting range. A former state fire marshal, Eggum said he didn't plan to carry a gun personally but that he was glad other retirees would.
"The public is probably going to be safer for it as far as I'm concerned," he said. "I think the attorney general did the public a service by letting his retired officers carry."
Among those declining to issue the permits are the Capitol Police, State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Bureau and University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department.
By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel
Source: JS Online
It's about time we get up to date with other States
.....so long as they don't live in Wisconsin.
Many such retired officers have moved from Wisconsin, allowing them to qualify in the state of their actual residence, provided they meet the rest of the criteria in LEOSA.
How disgraceful! According to their reasoning, the lives of retired police officers are more important than the lives of everyone else.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
Of course, if the law truly was meant to mean such, persons such as judges, prosecutors, and the like, would have been included in the federal LEOSA act.
OMG: How can the citizens of Wisconsin tolerate this violation of their 2nd amendment right? Why isn't there a full court legal press to bring this travesty to the courts? Set up a fund, I will contribute.
I am New York concealed carry permit holder, a Certified NRA Pistol Instructor and Training Counselor, I have more experience, shoot more and probably better, am safer and more mentally prepared than 95% of the law enforcement elite of the State of Wisconsin but if I moved to Kenosha, the birthplace of my father, I would be disarmed by the "rulers" of the land.
What an insult to both the retired law enforcement officers of Wisconsin and every responsible citizen of the state.
On December 27, 2008 I posted a challange to the citizens of the Soviet Socialist Rebuplic of Wisconsin to stand up for their rights and offered to contribute to their efforts.
It just goes to show,that law enforcement and the Gov. do NOT care about their law abiding citizens.
Especially in the Mid-West;ie;Shitcago(Illinois),and PissConsin!!!!
Wisconsin needs to get rid of Jim Doyle and get someone in the Giovernor's office that has something that resembles a brain!
Jim is not running again, thank God! Tom Barrett seems to be the current leading contender (I like Walker myself) and even after getting beaten to a pulp with a pipe, the man is still against concealed carry. What is going on in this state that the people in charge are that much against self preservation?!