The Wisconsin State Assembly Thursday passed a new policy on concealed weapons, allowing for both concealed weapons on the floor, and for members of the public to have concealed guns in the viewing gallery.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Assembly’s organization committee approved the policy on a party-line vote of 5-3. At the same time, the committee amended the proposed language to disallow any open carrying of weapons such as rifles.
The Assembly policy differs from that of the state Senate, passed earlier this week in its respective committee. The other chamber allowed lawmakers and others to have guns on the floor, but not visitors in the public gallery.
For both chambers, individual lawmakers who do not want guns in their own offices will be able to post signs notifying citizens that weapons will not be allowed. Elsewhere in the state Capitol, guns will not be allowed in the state Supreme Court hearing room or the Capitol Police station.
As TPM has previously posted, the policy is a result of the state’s new law, passed by the Republican legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker, allowing residents to obtain concealed-carry permits.
Democrats attempted to mount some opposition to the policy, by contrasting it with another policy — that citizens are not allowed to bring cameras or protest signs into the gallery. The Dems moved to allow signs and cameras, in addition to guns, but this was voted down by the GOP members.
In addition, as Jessica Arp from the local CBS affiliate reports, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca jokingly said he had another amendment to offer, to allow signs in the galleries — if they are taped to a weapon.
In response, Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald asked if the sign would have to say “bang” on it.