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1/30/2006

Wisconsin Assembly Looks Set to Override Governor's Veto of Concealed Carry Tomorrow

With the Senate already overriding the Governor's veto, there will now only be three states that completely ban people carrying concealed handguns (Nebraska, Kansas, and Illinois). Nebraska has a good chance of also passing a right-to-carry law this year. In Wisconsin, I just don't think that the Democrats want to go through an election where right-to-carry is a big issue.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and two Democratic state lawmakers came together Sunday to put up a last-minute fight against a bill that would legalize the carrying of concealed weapons in Wisconsin. But they acknowledged that even with their protests, the legislation would likely become law.

"The possibility is very, very strong that by the end of this week, people will be able to carry concealed guns in Wisconsin," said Barrett, who spoke outside State Fair Park with Reps. Jon Richards of Milwaukee and Tony Staskunas of West Allis.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled state Senate voted to override a veto of the bill by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. On Tuesday, the Assembly will decide whether to do the same.

The Assembly passed the bill in December by a vote of 63-32 - short of the two-thirds majority needed for an override. But a Republican was missing, and a seat that was open at the time has since been filled by a GOP supporter of the bill.

While Democratic leaders have said they are confident that two of six Democrats who supported the legislation would change their votes, Barrett and Richards did not sound optimistic.

"We're here today to talk about a bill that is about to become law," said Richards. The mayor and lawmakers were joined by Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festivals Inc., who said he opposed the bill. . . . .

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