Wis. Supreme Court: Weapons allowed on Madison buses

Wis. Supreme Court: Weapons allowed on Madison buses

The state Supreme Court has overturned an appeals court ruling and sided with a gun rights group, concluding that the city of Madison must allow bus passengers to carry concealed weapons.

Wisconsin Carry, a gun rights advocacy group, challenged the administrator of Madison’s Metro Transit in 2014 after it prohibited a passenger with a concealed-carry license from bringing a gun on the bus. The group argued Metro Transit’s policy prohibiting weapons cannot supersede the state’s concealed-carry law signed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011.

The court ruled 5-2, with Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley dissenting. Justice Daniel Kelly wrote the majority opinion.

Wisconsin Carry President Nik Clark says the ruling will have implications across the state.

“It is a right that people have and the most important thing is the right to carry doesn’t just exist for people that have their own transportation. the right to carry exist for people who rely on mass transit,”

Mayor Paul Soglin says the city plans to ask the legislature to amend the ruling to allow them to continue to prohibit firearms. Soglin says they will also looking to see if the ruling interferes with city’s property rights.

“As the owner of these buses we believe we have the right to control behavior on them. We have the right to control if people play loud music, bring on dangerous animals and we see it be perfectly in our rights as property owners to be able to regulate firearms,” Soglin said.

Metro Transit spokesman Mick Rusch said they are concerned with the ruling.

“Metro does have a great deal of concern about this opinion that allows loaded guns on our buses,” he said.

Madison Metro says once they have determined how to properly implement and comply with the law they will inform customers of the changes to the policy.

Implementation by the city is expected to happen in the coming days.

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