UW-Madison students oppose campus concealed carry bill

Gun advocates say campuses will be safer

A group of students on the UW-Madison campus are organizing opposition to a concealed campus carry bill being proposed by State Representative Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum. The students are circulating a petition opposing the bill and will hold a Day of Action on campus this Thursday.

“We’re afraid that this legislation will gain a lot more support and it will pass and we need to take a proactive approach,” says Kat Kerwin, Vice Chair of the UW Madison Legislative Affairs Committee of the student council.

Rep. Kremer introduced a similar concealed carry campus bill last year, but it failed to get a hearing. He says that while college campuses in Wisconsin are relatively safe, students become victims of crimes in areas just off campuses. Currently individuals with a concealed carry permit can have a gun on a campus but cannot take it into a building. Rep. Kremer says allowing concealed carry in buildings would keep students safer on and off campus.

“The criminal element around these campuses know that absolutely none of these people are going to be armed, at least not someone who is following the law because they know they can’t carry within the building. So my goal is to allow these law abiding concealed carry holders to be able to carry within the building and thus be able to protect themselves to and from campus,” says Rep. Kremer.

Kerwin is concerned that having guns on campus and in the classrooms will increase the potential for violence.
“I understand the second amendment is very important and you know I think it is fine if people think that a gun in their home will make them safer, but there is no reason in an educational setting that students should be able to carry guns. We have the UW Police and we have great people making sure we are safe every day,” says Kerwin.

So far the students have gathered approximately 1,200 signatures on the petition opposing the college campus carry bill.