Officials explain concealed carry law
Although DOJ officials have not yet released any information regarding the application form, and won't until Nov. 1, according to their official website, the DNR is fielding questions and also has issued a letter to the state's hunter safety instructors.
Tim Lawhern, administrator of the DNR's Division of Enforcement and Science, has been fielding questions on the new law for weeks now, even though the DNR will have nothing to do with issuing concealed carry permits or administering the law-that will be the DOJ's job.
"If it involves guns, they call the DNR," Lawhern said.
But completion of a hunter education program, either in Wisconsin or any other state because of reciprocity agreements, will satisfy the training needed to obtain a CC permit, Lawhern confirmed. So will military training.
"Neither one has anything to do with concealed carry," he noted.
Hunter education classes will not be changed to accommodate those who want to obtain a CC permit, he explained.
"If you are looking for information relative to concealed carry, this is not the course," Lawhern said.
Unlike a true CC course, hunter education classes do not cover the use of deadly force, use of the "deadly force continuum," and the legal ramifications of using deadly force, he said.
"You will get sued if you shoot someone," he said.
But he stressed that no hunter education instructor can turn down a potential student who wants to take a hunter ed course in order to qualify for a CC permit.
"Their motive is not our concern," he said.
A letter also has been sent to hunter safety instructors, detailing that they can't turn down students who want to attend a class to satisfy the CC permit requirement.
Lawhern noted that with a true CC class costing $100 to $150 or more and a hunter safety class costing $10, he expected some budget-minded residents will opt for the hunter safety class, even though such class won't provide all the instruction a CC holder should get.
A CC applicant will have to be at least 21 years old and with no criminal record to qualify.
Other important points about the coming CC law and how they may relate to hunters include:
•No law changes with regard to long guns (rifles and shotguns) in vehicles. They still must be unloaded and in a case, regardless of whether a person has a CC permit or not.
•Possession of any firearm in a vehicle (handgun or long gun) will remain illegal for anyone who is shining (spotlighting) deer. Shining without a firearm in a vehicle is allowed from Sept. 15-Dec. 31 statewide, but only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.
•Hunting while in possession of a concealed handgun (such as during the deer season) will only be allowed for those with CC permits. Handguns must be worn outside of clothing for those without the permits.
• Landowners will be allowed to carry a handgun concealed without a CC permit on their own land, but this only applies to people whose names appear on the land deed, not immediate family members or anyone else, Lawhern said.
•Employers may prohibit a CC licensee from carrying a concealed weapon while working but may not prohibit that person from storing the weapon or ammunition in his or her car while on the employer's property.
Ross Bielema is a freelance writer from New London. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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