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James Edming : Member of Wisconsin Legislature that is a Firearms Instructor

Thursday, October 27, 2016 8:58
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James Edming, (screen right) is said to be the only member of the Wisconsin legislature that is a certified firearms instructor. He is a successful businessman who represents Assembly District 87 in the North Central part of the state.  He has deep roots in the area, living on land his grandfather purchased after he came over from Sweden in 1886. James has taught numerous concealed carry courses.  In the picture above, he has no problem standing next to a constituent who is proudly and openly carrying his holstered Glock.

Open carry of handguns has always been legal in Wisconsin, but was discouraged in the metropolitan areas of Milwaukee and Racine. Until 10 years ago, police in those cities routinely violated people’s rights by charging open carriers with disorderly conduct.

That has changed now.  Wisconsin has one of the best shall issue concealed carry permit systems in the country.  But even the best can be improved. 

I was able to talk to Representative Edming for a few minutes.  He is an ardent Second Amendment supporter.  The gun culture is strong in Assembly District 87.  James Edming has an A rating with the NRA. In any given election it is likely that people with concealed carry permits will make up 10-15% of the voters in his district.

When I discussed the Wisconsin permit system, I mentioned that Wisconsin is missing an opportunity to have non residents contribute to Wisconsin government coffers.  Through the machinations and compromises made when Act 35, the Wisconsin concealed carry bill, was passed, citizens who are not residents of Wisconsin are unable to apply for a Wisconsin permit.  Consequently, people who wish for a permit outside of their home state apply to states other than Wisconsin, most notably to Florida and Utah, which issue hundreds of thousands of out of state permits.

Assemblyman Edming mentioned that Wisconsin has reciprocity to accept permits from all other states.  This is true, but there are still a few states that make it very difficult for their residents to obtain permits. 

People from those states often obtain permits from another state to be used when they are traveling.  In addition, there are people who collect permits much like others collect stamps.  They wish to have a permit from every state that is available.  There are people who would like to have a permit from a given state for sentimental reasons.  I grew up in Wisconsin, and am proud of the progress Wisconsin has made in restoring the right to keep and bear arms.  I would like a Wisconsin permit to show my gratitude and to remind me of my roots.

The Wisconsin permit has advantages over other states as a choice for out of state residents.  The Wisconsin legislature wisely did not require a photograph or fingerprints to obtain the permit.  They are not necessary in the age of the nationwide background check system run by the FBI, and they would add significantly to the cost of a permit.  Wisconsin recently made a website available for the application and renewal process.  Wisconsin’s frugal government has kept the permit fee low and easily accessible.  It is not unreasonable to expect four to five million dollars a year to flow into Wisconsin’s Department of Justice from out of state permit applications.

Assemblyman Edming said that an amendment allowing out of state people to apply for Wisconsin permits would be likely to pass the legislature, but it would have to be introduced in the next session. 

That depends on James Edming winning the election in the next two weeks.  He is popular.  He has shown himself to be disciplined, well organized, and tuned into his constituents.  I would usually think he would be a shoo-in for re-election, but this is a crazy election cycle.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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