Van Hollen sides with safetyWhat a bunch of liberals those Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature are.
By: The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
What a bunch of liberals those Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature are.
And now they’re forcing Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to be, in his own words, “very liberal,” too.
We’re talking, of course, about the GOP’s anything-goes approach to allowing concealed guns in Wisconsin.
You want to carry a hidden gun? No problem. Just send in for a permit and decide for yourself how much — if any — training you need.
That’s the liberal attitude of lawmakers such as Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, and Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend. They balked at the more conservative approach of Van Hollen this week, reversing Van Hollen’s reasonable rules for citizens seeking concealed-carry permits.
The Legislature put Van Hollen’s Department of Justice in charge of Wisconsin’s new law allowing concealed guns. The law, which began Nov. 1, called for training but didn’t specify how much.
So Van Hollen drafted a rule requiring at least four hours of training for permit seekers, something a firearms instructor would verify in writing.
Four hours is the industry standard for training, Van Hollen noted, and more than 20,000 permit seekers met that requirement. So clearly it wasn’t onerous.
“We tried to make it, quite frankly, as simple as possible to meet,” Van Hollen told his Republican colleagues.
But Grothman and other GOP lawmakers who control the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules quickly shot down Van Hollen’s sensible provision Monday. To them and their beloved National Rifle Association, four hours of training was a monumental and outrageous hurdle, requiring far too much effort and responsibility.
“There’s no reason why we have to micromanage how people obtain their concealed carry permit,” Grothman said, apparently with a straight face.
So from now on, the Department of Justice will be “very liberal in accepting applications” unless fraud is suspected, Van Hollen said.
Very liberal — just as Suder and Grothman seem to prefer when it comes to public safety.
(c)2011 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services