Over objections of the National Rifle Association and some Republican lawmakers, anyone wishing to carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin would have to undergo four hours of training even though the law does not require that.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, put the four-hour requirement in proposed rules implementing the law that takes effect on Nov. 1. The Department of Justice submitted the rules to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration on Oct. 7.
The governor is reviewing those rules, his spokesman Cullen Werwie said Thursday.
The law passed by the Legislature required training, but it did not say how many hours. Van Hollen said last week, in reaction to a request from the NRA not to include the four-hour minimum, that the choice was between setting a time requirement or mandating a curriculum.
Van Hollen said he did not think the law gave the Justice Department the authority to define training benchmarks, so it opted instead for time limits. He said four hours of training was the industry standard.
The NRA is deeply disappointed in Van Hollen’s decision and will do whatever it can to overturn it, said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
“It’s clear that the will is to allow people to gauge what their own needs are,” he said. “There are some people who need additional time and others who do not.”
Republican state Rep. Evan Wynn of Whitewater also objected to Van Hollen’s proposed rules on Thursday, saying the training should depend on experience, not time.
Wynn supports an even broader law that would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Once Wisconsin’s law takes effect next month, Illinois will be the only state in the country that bans concealed weapons.
Wisconsin’s law passed following years of lobbying by the NRA. To get a permit, the applicant must be at least 21, pass a background check proving they’re not felons and pass a firearms training or hunter safety course.
The law says concealed weapons will be legal in most buildings, except schools, police stations and courthouses, unless a sign is posted specifically barring them. Walker’s administration has not yet said whether weapons will be allowed in the state Capitol and other government offices.