NRA Behind GOP Bill on Guns with No Permits

March 29, 2017

Pistol Cash and Blood

About 40 GOP legislators are backing a bill that would allow adults to carry concealed weapons without a permit or training in Wisconsin.

The bill eliminates the prohibition on carrying firearms into police stations, jails and prisons, and mental health facilities, unless those locations specifically post a prohibition on weapons on their buildings and grounds. The measure also allows people to carry tasers, and also eliminates the prohibition on carrying guns, bows and crossbows in wildlife refuges, and while operating all-terrain vehicles.

Currently, guns are prohibited on school grounds under federal law, unless the individual has a state concealed carry permit and the school does not post weapons prohibitions. This bill would maintain those provisions, but under a newly created basic permit, licensees would be able to carry weapons on unposted school grounds without training. Others who choose to carry concealed weapons without any permit would still not be able to have weapons on school grounds, whether posted or not.

As of late last year, there were about 320,000 people licensed to carry a concealed weapon since the state’s concealed carry law was passed in 2011 by the GOP-controlled legislature and approved by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The latest bill to carry weapons, including tasers, without a permit is backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the nation’s largest and most controversial pro-gun lobby. In addition to its influential state and federal lobbying activities, the NRA generally supports conservative and Republican candidates for state and federal offices with direct contributions and outside electioneering activities.

In Wisconsin, the NRA has spent about $3.6 million since January 2008 on outside electioneering activities to support GOP and conservative legislative and statewide candidates, including about $23,400 on the legislative elections last fall. Nearly all of the NRA’s electioneering spending, about $3.5 million, was to support Walker’s 2010 general, 2012 recall and 2014 general elections for governor.

In addition, the NRA contributed about $69,600 between January 2008 and December 2016 directly to all legislative and statewide candidates.

Nearly four dozen current GOP legislators have received nearly $75,900 in NRA campaign contributions, outside election support or both (see table below). Republicans control the Senate by 20-13 and the Assembly by 64-35.

Campaign Contributions and Outside Election Support by the NRA
to Current Legislators and Legislative Campaign Committees
2008 – 2016

Name Party Office* Direct
Contributions
Outside
Election Support
Total
Olsen, Luther R S14 $1,500 $10,772 $12,272
Harsdorf, Sheila R S10 $1,000 $6,231 $7,231
Tiffany, Tom R S12 $2,250 $4,437 $6,687
Cowles, Robert R S02 $0 $4,639 $4,639
Darling, Alberta R S08 $2,500 $2,035 $4,535
Kulp, Bob R A69 $0 $2,408 $2,408
Ripp, Keith R A42 $500 $1,768 $2,268
Moulton, Terry R S23 $500 $1,720 $2,220
Nerison, Lee A R A96 $500 $1,676 $2,176
Tranel, Travis R A49 $500 $1,216 $1,716
Marklein, Howard R S17 $1,000 $671 $1,671
Petrowski, Jerry R S29 $1,000 $638 $1,638
VanderMeer, Nancy Lynn R A70 $0 $1,629 $1,629
Krug, Scott S R A72 $500 $1,088 $1,588
Bernier, Kathy R A68 $500 $1,075 $1,575
Novak, Todd R A51 $500 $876 $1,376
LeMahieu, Devin R S09 $500 $666 $1,166
Roth, Roger R S19 $500 $650 $1,150
Lasee, Frank R S01 $500 $644 $1,144
Wanggaard, Van H R S21 $1,000 $127 $1,127
Kitchens, Joel C R A01 $500 $585 $1,085
Kleefisch, Joel R A38 $1,000 $0 $1,000
Republican Assembly Campaign Committee R A $1,000 $0 $1,000
Brooks, Ed R A50 $500 $497 $997
Petryk, Warren R A93 $500 $495 $995
Macco, John R A88 $500 $493 $993
Vos, Robin R A63 $500 $339 $839
Stroebel, Duey R S20 $500 $317 $817
Mursau, Jeffrey L R A36 $300 $486 $786
Steineke, Jim R A05 $750 $0 $750
Quinn, Romaine Robert R A75 $0 $717 $717
Horlacher, Cody R A33 $0 $526 $526
Edming, James R A87 $0 $501 $501
August, Tyler R A32 $500 $0 $500
Ballweg, Joan R A41 $500 $0 $500
Jacque, Andre R A02 $500 $0 $500
Spiros, John R A86 $500 $0 $500
Vinehout, Kathleen D S31 $500 $0 $500
Vukmir, Leah R S05 $500 $0 $500
Craig, Dave R A83 $0 $331 $331
Swearingen, Rob R A34 $300 $0 $300
Tauchen, Gary R A06 $300 $0 $300
Fitzgerald, Scott R S13 $0 $277 $277
Nygren, John R A89 $250 $0 $250
Born, Mark L R A39 $200 $0 $200

*“S” means Senate District and “A” means Assembly District