New gun law does not necessarily mean chaos

Jacob Ennis, Clarion Copy Editor

People read the second amendment and come away with different opinions on what it means.

The amendment states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

What does it mean to you?

Does it mean that your right to carry a weapon cannot in any way be infringed? Does it refer to the people in general, or to each individual?

The fourth amendment has the exact same “the right of the people,” and it specifically means that each individual is protected from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Over the last couple of centuries there have been countless discussions and debates that try to decode its meaning. So apparently, nobody alive knows for sure.

One thing we see is that there’s nothing in the amendment that allows for concealed weapons. There’s nothing in it that denies them either.

Wisconsin is the last state in the United States besides Illinois, to pass a law legalizing concealed carry. So, if you’ve ever traveled outside of these two states, chances are you’ve run into someone with a loaded gun hidden beneath their clothing. It seems apparent that the majority of Americans believe in the right to carry concealed weapons.

In order to obtain a permit, you’ll have to meet the requirements of the National Firearms Act, and the Brady Act. You’ll also have to conform to Wisconsin’s CCW permit requirements. The training required is either a hunter safety course, or a seven-hour training course that can be taken at Madison Area Technical College.

Under the new law you will be able to travel with a loaded and uncased handgun in your vehicle. The rules for rifles and shotguns will stay the same. To transport them in a vehicle, they have to be unloaded and in a case.

There should be no reason to be frightened. Just take a look at another state, and Wisconsin’s new gun law doesn’t seem all that scary.

In Vermont you aren’t even required to obtain a permit, and you can legally carry your gun into police stations, churches and even banks. Surprisingly, there were only seven murders in 2009. That’s about a third, percentage-wise, of what Wisconsin had in the same year.

Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming also do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

On another note, when Washington D.C. enacted a complete ban on handguns in 1975, total crime dropped by about 10 percent the next year. However, under that same handgun ban, there were 479 murders in 1991 alone. The city was later nicknamed the “murder capital” of the U.S. It kind of makes you wonder.

What about other countries?

In Switzerland, gun crime is virtually non-existent. In fact, you would have to use scientific notation to show the percentage. There is roughly one firearm for every person living in the country.

Also, every male – all are required to serve in the Swiss Militia for at least 260 days – is required to keep his military issue firearm in his place of residence. There are strict controls on ammunition, however. Each male is permitted to carry 50 rounds, which are periodically inspected to make sure they aren’t used for anything besides military purposes.

There are strict regulations on anything related to military firearms, but not so much on weapons and ammunition for recreational shooting. Recreational shooting and firearms in general have been a part of life for the people of Switzerland since the country’s founding in 1291. This integration into the culture is one of the reasons for the very low amount of firearm incidents, whether they are accidental or intentional.

When the second amendment was written, firearms were a major part of peoples’ lives. So much so, that a high awareness and respect for them came almost naturally. It seems that this attitude has not been lost in Switzerland, even today.

If the qualifications for a CCW permit included a stricter screening process and a more in-depth training course, the public would be in much safer hands.

The Wisconsin Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) law was signed into law on July 8 and will take effect on Nov. 1 this fall.


All crime information was gathered from


All Swiss military information was gathered from the CIA and the U.S. Department of State.