Wisconsin Republicans advance bills that would let 18-year-olds carry concealed weapons at school

Wisconsin statehouse
Posted at 1:21 PM, Jan 21, 2022

Republicans in Wisconsin's state legislature have advanced a series of bills that expand gun rights and allow 18-year-olds to carry concealed weapons in schools and other public areas.

The bills now head to the state Senate. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers would almost certainly issue a veto if they pass the Senate.

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, the four bills passed Thursday include provisions that lower the minimum age of a concealed-carry permit holder from 21 to 18, allow concealed carry on school grounds and in churches attached to private schools, and allow anyone licensed to carry a concealed weapon in another state to carry a gun in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press reports that the state Assembly passed the bills via voice vote.

In a press conference Thursday, Democratic state lawmakers denounced the bills as dangerous and unnecessary.

"As a parent, as a teacher and as a citizen, this is terrifying," said Rep. Deb Andraca, according to The Associated Press. She's a Democrat that's made reducing gun violence a priority.

Republicans touted the bills as an expansion of the rights afforded to Americans in the Second Amendment.

"This simply says we're going to treat you all like the adults you are," Rep. Shae Sortwell, R-Two Rivers, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. "We're going to trust you to be responsible."