WAUSAU, Wis. - Wisconsin has become the 49th state to legalize the carrying of concealed weapons.
Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill on Friday afternoon removing the state's ban. Except for a few minor aspects, the bulk of the law goes into effect in November.
Gun supporters say legalizing concealed carry in Wisconsin has been long overdue. Opponents argue that it won't curb crime and will put more guns on the street.
Under Wisconsin's law, people who obtain a permit and go through training will be allowed to carry concealed weapons in most public buildings, including the state Capitol and city halls, unless a sign is posted saying they aren't permitted.
Applicants for concealed carry must first satisfy training requirements, WISC-TV reported.
With the legalization in Wisconsin, Illinois is now the only state that doesn't allow concealed carry.
Walker signed the bill Friday afternoon in Rothschild, just outside Wausau. National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre joined Walker for the bill signing. Passing a concealed carry law has been a priority for the NRA in Wisconsin over the past few years.
The governor called it long overdue, saying he co-sponsored a similar measure when he was in the state Assembly. He proclaimed himself a proud member of the NRA.
LaPierre said he and others hailed the law's passage.
"Government can't protect us. The right to carry is the difference between no chance, and a fighting chance," he said.