You can take your gun to the Wisconsin State Capitol, but not Lambeau Field
The Wisconsin State Capitol: Bring your own ammo.
Wisconsin's new laid-back concealed carry permit laws go into effect next week, and gun owners across the state are asking where, exactly, they can jangle their spurs with a six-shooter on their hip.
It seems it'll be cool to be packin' heat damn near everywhere. Like the place with the lawmaker guys, the ones who passed Scott Walker's Wild West-style legislation? Yes, even there: In fact, guns will be legal in most parts of the Wisconsin State Capitol, and individual legislators might be able to decide whether guns are allowed in their own office.
But, even as the state takes a turn for the libertarian, some sites remain holy, and must be free of violence. Because this is Wisconsin, we refer, of course, to Lambeau Field.
The Green Bay Packers have announced today that whatever you want to do outside the stadium, or in Scott Walker's office, that's up to you. But the only gun allowed in Lambeau is the one hanging off Aaron Rodgers's shoulder.
Doug Collins, the team's director of security, tells the Wisconsin State Journal that the team has always had a weapons ban in place and doesn't see a need to change that policy now.
"We've taken a look at the statute that's now out there, conferred with the police department, and we're just going to maintain our no-weapons policy here at Lambeau Field," Collins said.
Lambeau Field does not allow guns or Vikings victories.
The Packers do plan to post signs all over the stadium, acknowledging the new gun law but pointing out their own "No firearms" rule. Under the Packers' rules, concealed-carry permit holders can have a gun in their car in the stadium parking lot, but can't go walking around with it. Given the nature of tailgating, and the amount of beer the state of Wisconsin tends to produce and consume, this seems a fair interpretation.
Green Bay Police Lieutenant Kevin Warych says the resulting $177 fine would be up to the discretion of the individual officer, but doesn't see why this rule should be a problem for anyone.
"There is no reason to bring your gun if you're going to a Packers game," Warych said.
Right. But there are obvious reasons why you'd need to bring your gun if you went to meet with your state representative. Like, what if he challenges you to a duel? You can't duel with a constituent if one of you left his gun at home!
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that, as it's planned right now, guns would be allowed both in the shooting gallery--sorry, "viewing gallery"--of the state Assembly, and also on the floor of the Assembly. That way, Assembly members can celebrate the passage of votes by pulling out their pistols and shooting a few rounds into the air.
Asked about plans to propose the same for the Wisconsin Senate, Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller says he hadn't been briefed, but didn't like the sound of it.
""I don't think there should be weapons in the Capitol," Miller told the Journal. "People should be able to enter public buildings and feel safe.... There's children who come in the building, for Pete's sake."
Well, maybe for Pete's sake, Pete should go get himself a Glock. And if those little kids want to walk around the state Capitol, they should probably be strapped, too. You are never too young to start talking to elected officials, comforted by the knowledge that you could both shoot each other at a moment's notice.
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