Gun owners give input about concealed carry at Pewaukee public hearing

WTMJ News Team

Gun owners give input about concealed carry at Pewaukee public hearing

By WTMJ News Team. CREATED Jul 25, 2012 - UPDATED: Jul 25, 2012

PEWAUKEE- Thousands of people across our state have permission to conceal handguns, but many gun owners sounded off at a public hearing Wednesday concerning restrictions for permit holders.

Less than a year after Wisconsin set its sights on concealed carry, authorities are now asking the public to weigh in on permanent rules and regulations.

In just nine months, more than 118,000 people signed up for concealed carry permits -- using temporary rules that are soon to be made permanent.

Authorities used a public hearing to discuss changes to the existing guidelines including: limiting class sizes and defining training, which right now counts hunter safety courses.

"There's a couple of tweaks.. the big ones are providing just a little bit of definition to what a firearms safety course is," said Brian O'Keefe of Wisconsin's Department of Justice.

"Taking a deer with a shotgun at 6 a.m. in Shawano is not quite the same as leaving your house with a G19 strapped to your back waist," said attorney Thomas Grieve.

Many gun owners are conflicted.  They don't want the government to overregulate, but at the same time they acknowledge the importance of thorough training.

Ron Stacy has 92 hours under his belt -- far more than the recommended four hours and he's still learning.

"I think all the training you can get would be what you need," said Stacy, who believes you should train for more than minimum of four hours.

Many gun shops are ignoring recommendations and requiring eight hours of training plus time on the range.

"We have refused several people who didn't know how to shoot.  We will not give you a certificate if you're not safe with a pistol," said Megan Eaton of Fletcher Arms.

Organizers will pool together those comments and deliver a report to the attorney general.  That information will go to lawmakers next month.