MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin's concealed carry law goes into effect Nov. 1, and it not only changes how guns are carried on a person, it also changes the way some guns can be transported.
Currently, handguns transported in a car must be in a case, unloaded and out of reach. Next week when the new law goes into effect, handguns can be loaded, outside of a case and on a car seat -- all without a permit.
"If you don't want to seek out a concealed carry permit, you'll still be allowed to carry a firearm, loaded, in plain view," said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.
The weapon cannot be hidden or concealed in any way if it's within reach. A person will still need a permit if they intend to carry a firearm on their body or keep it hidden in their car, authorities said. Previous laws required handguns to be cased and unloaded to transport them in a vehicle. Those rules do not change for long guns.
Mahoney said anyone with a gun in their car should alert police immediately if they are pulled over to avoid any possible conflict or miscommunication.
"Now that firearms will be permitted loaded in a vehicle, I expect it will be a learning curve for law enforcement, as well as the public," said Mahoney.
While the rules about carrying guns in a car have changed, they will not change on Madison Metro buses.
"We have a long-standing policy in place where weapons are not allowed on buses. And come Nov. 1, when the new law goes into effect, weapons will still not be allowed on buses," said Mike Rusch, of Metro Transit.
If anyone is caught carrying a firearm on a city bus, the driver will call police. Guns are also disallowed at bus shelters and transfer points.
"That's basically like any sort of policy we have on buses. If you're violating something, and you don't comply, we will refer that situation to the police department," said Rusch.
While the Sheriff's Department is unlikely to be the agency responding to calls from bus drivers, they said they're ready.
"My expectations are now that it's law, that we uphold the rights of individuals to carry a concealed weapon," said Mahoney.
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