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Governor Disregards Safety of Law-Abiding Citizens

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Statement from NRA Chief Lobbyist
Chris Cox on Right-to-Carry Veto

Despite the support of the majority of the legislature, rank and file police officers, and the people of Wisconsin, Governor Doyle vetoed legislation that would allow law-abiding citizens the Right-to-Carry firearms for protection of themselves and their loved ones.

It is regrettable that Governor Doyle does not trust his law-abiding constituents with the right of self-defense. This is common sense legislation that requires mandatory training, a permit from the sheriff and a criminal background check. Even polls by Right-to-Carry opponents reveal that a majority of Wisconsinites support this law.

According to FBI statistics, 12,000 Wisconsinites are victims of violent crime annually. Right-to-Carry would give many of those victims the opportunity to defend themselves against a criminal attack. Research by leading criminologists shows that firearms are used more than 2 million times a year in self-defense. In most cases a shot is never fired. And, Right-to-Carry laws are a proven crime deterrent. Violent crime rates have decreased in every state after enactment of Right-to-Carry.

Ironically, Governor Doyle enjoys executive protection at taxpayer expense, yet he will not allow the average citizen the same privilege. Unless the legislature acts, the people of Wisconsin will remain defenseless against criminal attacks.

Right-to-Carry passed the Wisconsin legislature with a vote of 24-8 in the Senate and 64-35 in the Assembly. Four states-- New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri-- have passed Right-to-Carry laws this year. Thirty-six states and more than half of all Americans have the right to carry a firearm for personal protection.

The 132-year-old National Rifle Association is the nation`s oldest civil rights group. NRA advocates enforcement of existing laws to prosecute and punish violent criminals. The NRA is the nation`s leader in teaching gun safety and promoting marksmanship among law enforcement officers. The Association has approximately 4 million members across America.

--nra--

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.