Local Businesses to Talk Concealed Carry
Set to take effect Nov. 1, the concealed carry law has many business owners confused about what it means for them.
With just 12 days until the new concealed carry law takes effect, businesses are grappling with how to react. Should they post a sign prohibiting weapons? And if they do, will they be liable for any violence that occurs?
Wauwatosa attorneys will address these questions with business owners in three information sessions starting Friday.
The hour-long information sessions will be Oct. 21, 27 and 28. They are open to the public, with no need to RSVP.
- Friday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Cafe Hollander, 2nd floor. Coffee will be provided, courtesy of Cafe Hollander. Speaker: Attorney Daniel J. Finerty.
- Thursday, Oct. 27, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in room 114 of the Chamber Building at 10437 Innovation Dr. There might be a food truck available for lunch. Speaker: Attorney Daniel J. Finerty.
- Friday, Oct. 28, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse on 68th Street and North Avenue. Speaker: Attorney Christopher Johnson.
Toward the top of the list for discussion is whether business owners want to prohibit concealed weapons in an establishment.
If businesses do not post a sign, thus allowing patrons to carry in concealed weapons, the law seems to grant them immunity from liability. However, some businesses, such as taverns, have said they think it would be dangerous to allow concealed weapons.
"There are businesses that by their character that wouldn’t want to have concealed weapons on the property — like city government, where we have heated debates," Meg McKenna said.
For businesses that post signs prohibiting weapons, it is unclear whether they would take on liability. Even the attorneys at the information sessions likely won't be able to offer an answer to this question, as the law has yet to be tested.
"All attorneys can do is work on guessing which way it’s likely to go," McKenna said. "I’m guessing we’ll get some regulations from the state eventually, but they're not here now."
McKenna hopes by talking to each other and with attorneys, the information sessions will help businesses decide whether to post a sign, and whether to prohibit employees from bringing weapons to work.
Many municipalities in Wisconsin have already passed ordinances addressing concealed carry in government-operated facilities.
In a 12-4 vote, the Wauwatosa Common Council decided Oct. 4 to ban firearms, electric stun guns, and certain types of knives in city facilities.
Brookfield’s Common Council will take up the issue Nov. 1, after a city committee recommended banning guns and other weapons. Menomonee Falls has not yet passed an ordinance governing concealed weapons in village facilities, and will not have another opportunity until Nov. 7, after the law goes into effect.