Wisconsin State Representative Jesse Kremer is working on a bill that would allow legal concealed carry permit holders to carry on private school grounds. Kremer held a forum on school security at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School to discuss the measure on Saturday, which featured a panel of experts, educators and concerned parents.
Kremer believes schools should be permitted to let licensed, trained teachers and other staff keep guns in schools as a means to stop deadly mass shootings like those at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University and Sandy Hook Elementary.
“This is a real issue,” Kremer said. “This is not fear mongering.”
Joining Rep. Kremer on stage were Superintendent of the Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School David Bartlet, Morning Star Lutheran School teacher Michael Maas, Village of Grafton Police Sergeant Sean Fuerstenberg, Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt, Executive Editor of Concealed Carry Magazine Kevin Michalowski, Director of Marketing for Delta Defense Matt Fehlhaber, and two concerned parents from the community. The forum was moderated by Katrina Cravey.
“Current Wisconsin law sets law abiding concealed carry holders and teachers up for failure,” Representative Kremer told me. “Before traversing on school grounds, concealed carry holders in Wisconsin must un-holster their firearm and place it in a lock box, or risk a felony. We have essentially announced to anyone looking to do harm that no one will be armed to stop them.”
About three dozen parents and community members turned out for the forum and engaged the panel on a very positive discussion including whether school staff can use Tasers or pepper spray and requesting pricing on special locks for classroom doors, even engaging the panel in an in-depth discussion on the training required to obtain a concealed-carry permit in the Badger State. The discussion even covered whether teachers with guns would be ‘anti-Christian’ or ‘pro-life’.
Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak said even Jesus’ disciples used swords at Gethsemane. “You have the right to defend the life the good Lord blessed you with,” to which the attendees enthusiastically applauded.
Maas also shared that when his school performs lockdown drills, “I grab my aluminum baseball bat. It’s the best weapon available to me,” but pointed out it would do nothing to stop someone firing a gun into his classroom.
The overwhelming majority of the school security forum attendees were receptive to what Representative Kremer is proposing and no one spoke up strongly to oppose the idea – which is a good indication of how the community and state might react to the bill. Kremer says his bill will work to adjust the law to match the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, which includes an exception for those with CCW licenses. His efforts will target private schools first, then extend similar bills to extend campus carry into public K-12 schools and onto college campuses.
“When I was an airline captain, we didn’t publicize to post-9/11 passengers if there was a pilot carrying in the cockpit. Why would we do that in our schools? Would it not be more effective to publicize, as other states do, that you don’t know if, or who, will be ready to protect students at a moments notice in a school setting? There is a lot of good in this world, but also evil,” Kremer continued. “The public must remain vigilant and lawmakers proactive regarding the security and safety of their constituents, especially those who are most vulnerable.”
If you’d like more information or to sign up for e-update letters from Representative Kremer’s office on upcoming issues or pending legislation he is working on, please contact his team at [email protected] or you can follow his Facebook page [HERE].