Concealed Weapons Controversy

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 90 percent of Wisconsin sheriffs want their counties to opt out of the concealed weapons program. What it comes down to they say is a matter of staffing.

Simply put, they don't have enough people to perform the necessary background checks.

Lincoln County Chief Deputy Mike Soucy says, “Any time there's a potential for people to carry and use deadly force, we're going to do far more than a simple computer check on them. And a background check is very time-consuming and we just don't have the resources to do that.”

And for most counties, hiring more staff isn't an option.

“No, there's no money in the budget for that. And beyond that also is the training, which I believe would fall to the sheriffs too.”

A stipulation of the bill says sheriffs can decide not to participate in the program, as long as they have support from two thirds of their county board. That doesn't mean it would be illegal to carry a concealed weapon in that county. You just wouldn't be able to get a license there.

The bill is expected to hit Gov. Doyle's desk as early as Tuesday.