Wisconsin has issued 300,000 concealed carry permits since the program began, and has a gun homicide rate lower than Japan’s.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced last week that the state has issued its 300,000th concealed carry permit.
Since it legalized concealed carry in 2011 Wisconsin has seen a surge in gun owners applying for permits. So far this year 19,515 concealed carry applications were processed, putting the state on track to outpace 2015’s 45,549 total permits processed.
Also, in the first three months of this year 46,658 background checks were completed, putting that number on pace to beat last year’s 131,648 total background checks completed.
Attorney General Schimel declared in a statement, “The dedicated professionals at the Department of Justice have provided a safe, secure and efficient process for the issuance of concealed carry permits since 2011 Act 35 went into effect on November 1st, 2011. Wisconsin has always had a rich tradition of firearms ownership, and I am proud to lead the agency that ensures law abiding citizens can exercise their rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”
Of the hundreds of thousands of permit holders in Wisconsin, only one has been convicted of committing a crime under the provisions of the permit. That’s one unjustified homicide for over 750,000 permit-years, calculating to an annual homicide rate of less than .19 per 100,000 per year. That’s a homicide rate lower than Japan’s. The homicide rate for permit holders in Minnesota is about the same.
But while the instance of a crime committed under the provisions of the permit are almost nonexistent, Wisconsin permit holders have been involved in numerous cases of self-defense and defense of others. Should we wonder why we don’t hear about those instances?
The Wisconsin permit system does not require fingerprints or pictures. Any such requirements would also be subject to opposition on grounds of unConstitutionality.
There is some question of the Constitutionality of the permit system as it stands now, but the ease with which the Wisconsin system operates and the success they’ve had with it speaks volumes. Wisconsin uses the existing electronic background check system available to all police departments to check permit applications.
The number of permit holder applications shows no signs of slowing down in the state. We can probably expect many of these people to be active politically as well.
“These are engaged people, people who vote. They are people who are concerned. Carrying a gun is not a casual thing for people. This is a very motivated group of people who see how important it is. And it is. It is literally your life in some cases,” says Nik Clark, chairman and president of Wisconsin Carry.