Eat-Cheese-Or-Die State (Wisconsin) Concealed Carry Permits Top 280k

Wisconsin issued its first concealed carry permits late in 2011. From that auspicious beginning, the number of concealed carry permits issued has soared. Speaking to, citing his wife as a case in point, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker revealed the extent to which Badger State residents have exercised their right to bear arms (making the above sign obsolete) . . .

“We have over 280,000 people who in the last five years have gone through concealed carry. There’s people all across the state, like my wife who went through a course, got the training, add that added protection.”

Wisconsin has an adult population (21 or over) of about 4.4 million. Roughly 1 out of every 16 Wisconsin adult residents now has a concealed carry permit.

There was one manslaughter homicide by a citizen with a permit — who claimed self defense, but was convicted by a jury– in the last four years. That translates into a homicide rate for permit holders of about .22 homicides per 100/000 people per year. That’s less than 1/13 of the homicide rate for Wisconsin on average.

Same story for permit holders in neighboring Minnesota. According to the FBI, the Wisconsin homicide rate for 2012 was 3.0, 2.8 for 2013, 2.9 in 2014.

Part of the reason Wisconsin racked-up significant numbers of permit holders: they learned from the mistakes made by previous states. Requirements for the permit were not burdensome. The original fee was set at $50, but experience proved that $40 was sufficient to meet state costs. (Yes, they lowered the fee.) Wisconsin does not require fingerprints or photographs for their permit.

Wisconsin has never required any licensing for the open carry of weapons. In fact, Wisconsin seems ripe for Constitutional Carry. Governor Walker just signed Act 149, which implements constitutional carry for knives. America’s Dairyland has strong state constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms, contained in Article I Section 25:

The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

Wisconsin has come a long way in four short years. The state’s experience shows the fragility of the media cartel mythology that more guns = less safety.

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