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Concealed carry law takes effect Tuesday


EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - An Eau Claire official says Wisconsin will be a different state beginning Tuesday, when law-abiding residents can carry concealed weapons.

Actually, it will be a few weeks before the state Justice Department can issue the first permits that will be required.

State Senate Democrat Bob Jauch of Poplar, who rallied against concealed carry for years, admits that the culture is now changed. He says 48 other states have similar laws, and they've seen no big misuse of firearms.

But Eau Claire City Council President Kerry Kincaid says her meetings are tense – and she fears that an angry permit holder will cross the line. She says the January shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona is fresh in her mind.

Eau Claire has banned weapons in all city buildings. And places that serve alcohol must put up signs telling customers that those carrying concealed weapons won't be served drinks.

The new Wisconsin law bans concealed weapons in places like schools, courthouses, and airport security lines. But state and local governments have the option of banning concealed carry in their buildings, as do businesses. And many, but not all, expect to do so.

The Walker administration is allowing hidden weapons in most state buildings, but the Senate is banning them from their chamber while Assembly approved them.

Not all companies will ban hidden heat, because they'd have to put up signs prohibiting it – and that might not be good for business. Tom Diehl of the Tommy Bartlett Water Show at Wisconsin Dells says the signs will be a turn off to travelers, and heighten people's fear factor.

UW campuses will ban guns from buildings but not campus grounds. UW sports stadiums will ban them -- and so will Lambeau Field, Miller Park, and the Bradley Center.