Wisconsin Republicans reveal plan to lower minimum age to carry concealed weapons

Republican state legislators in Wisconsin are pushing a plan to lower the minimum age required to legally carry a concealed weapon in the state.

As of now, a Wisconsin resident must be 21-years-old before applying for a concealed carry permit, but the GOP-supported bill would lower the age to 18. 

State Rep. Shae Sortwell is the measure’s sponsor, who notes that since 18-year-olds are eligible to vote and are able at that age to go to war, they should also have the ability to carry a concealed weapon if they choose.

Gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA) approve of the plan, other groups like the city of Milwaukee, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE). 

“It is our obligation as the state Legislature under our oath to the Constitution of the United States and oath to the state constitution to ensure equality before the law,” said Sortwell during a public hearing on the piece of legislation.

But WAVE executive director Jeri Bonavia said the group is opposed because federal law does not allow anyone between the ages of 18 to 20 to legally purchase a handgun from a federally licensed firearm dealer. 

“Which means that this age group that they’re talking about would likely need to be purchasing their gun from the gray market, from private sellers,” Bonavia noted. “Which means that there would be no background check conducted on those purchases.”

Throughout the remaining months of the state’s legislative session, Wisconsin Republicans are also going to look at another piece of gun legislation. That includes a proposition to allow people with concealed carry permits to keep their weapons in their vehicles while on school grounds.




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