Senate Bill 222, introduced by Senator Russ Decker, among others, would loosen regulations for Wisconsin's hunters. Among other things, "This bill eliminates the requirement that an unloaded firearm placed in a vehicle be in a case."
This seems, at best, like a solution in place of a problem. At worst, it seems like a needless undermining of public safety. I am by no means an anti-gunner. I support responsible gun ownership. I have not made up my mind on the issue of open carry. I do not believe Wisconsin should start registering gun ownership, but I do believe in background checks at the time of purchase.
I support hunting rights, and I want to see Wisconsin's hunting traditions continue. I do not see how this bill will make things better. Right now, if you shoot a deer for another member of your hunting party, you need to be in contact with the member with the tag. That helps to prevent multiple people from shooting deer for the same person, which would result in senseless waste, as an untagged deer will likely be left to rot, since it cannot be legally claimed.
If this bill passes, you will not have to be in contact with the member of your party who still has a tag to fill. They will have one hour to tag the deer. How likely is that, if you are not in contact?
Also, you would no longer need to keep your guns in a case in your car. How is it a good idea to transport guns uncased? Even if it is unloaded (which the law would still require, but which is sometimes mistakenly overlooked), without the protection of a case, there is a greater possibility that your gun will be damaged in transit (especially if you are driving on dirt roads in the woods). How does that help Wisconsin's hunters? Is it really that much of a hardship to purchase a case for your (far more expensive) deer rifle? It will also allow individuals to drive around in the city with their (presumably unloaded) firearms on the seat, within easy reach. That could be a law enforcement nightmare.
Most perplexing of all, "The bill also provides that the prohibitions against the placement of a firearm, bow, or crossbow in a vehicle do not apply if the vehicle is stationary."
Does that mean it's OK to have a loaded gun in your car if the car is parked? Why is that a good idea?
Decker is blatantly pandering to the rural libertarians in his district. But more puzzling is Lena Taylor's co-authorship. Given her troubled relationship with the Milwaukee Police Department, this bill is unlikely to win her any endorsements from law enforcement organizations.
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