Wisconsin Senate Overrides Concealed Handgun Veto, House Overtide Attempt Next Week

My belief is that the Assembly vote comes down to one issue: Do the Democrats want the NRA to make Wisconsin its main target this fall? If the veto override fails, the NRA will work hard to get the additional votes needed in the Assembly and also work hard to win the Governorship.

The Wisconsin State Senate challenged Gov. Jim Doyle’s recent veto, voting 23 to 10 Thursday to uphold a bill that would allow citizens to carry concealed weapons.

“[I am] happy to see the Democrats that had supported the bill when it first went through the Senate stuck to their guns and voted to override the governor today,” said Mike Prentiss, spokesperson for bill co-sponsor Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

Authored by Sen. Dave Zien, R-Eau Claire, Senate Bill 403 was passed by both the Senate and Assembly last year before Doyle rejected it last Friday.

Bill backers expressed hope the Assembly would follow suit and also vote to override the governor’s veto. . . .

In the Assemby it comes down to six Democratic representatives:

The fate of the state's 133-year-old ban on concealed weapons now rests with the state Assembly, which plans its own override try on Tuesday. The vote likely will hinge on six Assembly Democrats who broke party lines and voted with Republicans to pass the bill in December. . . .

A successful override takes a two-thirds majority in both houses - 22 votes in the Senate and 66 in the Assembly.

The measure has the support of all 60 GOP Assembly members. If the six Assembly Democrats vote to override, the GOP would have the 66 votes it needs. If one of them flips and sides with the governor, the veto would stand.

The six Assembly Democrats - Reps. Barbara Gronemus of Whitehall, Mary Hubler of Rice Lake, Marlin Schneider of Wisconsin Rapids, John Steinbrink of Pleasant Prairie, Terry Van Akkeren of Sheboygan and Amy Sue Vruwink of Milladore - likely will face heavy lobbying from both sides.

Some of the most intense pressure could come from Doyle's office. The Legislature hasn't overridden a veto of a stand-alone bill in more than two decades.

"The governor is confident his veto will be upheld in the Assembly," Doyle spokeswoman Melanie Fonder said. "He does not think people in Wisconsin will be any safer carrying loaded weapons around."

But Gronemus, Vruwink and Schneider all have said they plan to vote to override.

That means it all could come down to Van Akkeren, Hubler and Steinbrink.

Van Akkeren has said he hasn't decided which way he will vote. Steinbrink and Hubler didn't immediately return messages from The Associated Press Thursday.


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