Wisconsin just recently handed out its 100,000th concealed handgun permit, a feat that far exceeded expectations. Early last November when Act 35 took effect, members of the Wisconsin Department of Justice expected to deliver 125,000 permits within the first year. With 100,000 permits printed only six months in, these gun-loving cheeseheads may very well double the projected number.
Last year, Wisconsin became the 49th state (beating Illinois) to join the modern era and allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns. With last year’s census putting the Wisconsin population at around 5.7 million, that means that about one in every 57 Wisconsinites could be carrying a gun. We’re liking those numbers.
Before Act 35 lifted the ban on concealed firearms, a number of naysayers gun control advocates were predicting that the an influx of guns would result in the collapse of modern society (an outcome that all 48 other states somehow managed to avoid). Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen dismissed the negative nancies, stating, “Nothing could have been further from the truth.” In fact, there hasn’t been a single problem concealed handgun-related problem in the past six months. Why, it almost sounds as though law-abiding gun carriers are using their firearms to deter crimes, rather than perform them.
We can expect the number of concealed carry permit holders in Wisconsin to keep on rising. Somewhat surprisingly, the part of the Department of Justice’s that deals with transferring handguns had its busiest month in February, rather than in November when the law took effect. Perhaps people are getting ready for a little spring target practice.
The announcement should have come years earlier, but we should be more celebratory than anything else. Wisconsin may have finished the race second-to-last, but at least they finished.
Now, doesn’t Illinois just look silly?