Press Release from Wisconsin Carry:
Wisconsin Carry, Inc. files lawsuit against Department of Justice
For Immediate Release:
Last Thursday, June 13, Wisconsin Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County challenging the permanent rules the Wisconsin Department of Justice put in place on June 1st regarding Act 35 and the issuance of concealed carry licenses.
A copy of this lawsuit can be viewed here: http://www.wisconsincarry.org/media/6689/doj_lawsuit.pdf
Since Act 35 took effect on Nov. 1st, 2011 over 180,000 concealed carry licenses have been issued under the “emergency rules”.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice proposed permanent rules regarding the administration of Act 35 in late 2012 which we believe go beyond the scope defined by statute. Among the proposed over-reach were the imposition of a 50:1 instructor-to-student ratio for classes that meet the training mandate as well as expanded curriculum for those classes. Act 35 includes language that states:
Wis.Stats. § 175.60(2)(b) “The department may not impose conditions, limitations, or requirements that are not expressly provided for in this section on the issuance, scope, effect, or content of a license.”
Our lawsuit contends that the DOJ has imposed conditions and limitations that they were, by statute, expressly prohibited from doing.
Wisconsin Carry offers free concealed training classes across the state in which over 6,000 people have participated. These free training classes have made it possible for thousands to obtain their concealed carry licenses. Some of our classes are held in venues that have appropriate seating configurations as well as audio-visual capabilities that allow us to effectively accommodate classes larger than 50 people with a single instructor.
In spite of making contact with the DOJ to express our concerns as well as attending the public hearings to testify against the over-reaching permanent rules, they were placed into effect June 1st leaving us no choice but to resort to litigation.
Wisconsin Carry notes that accredited universities have class sizes with a greater than 50:1 instructor-to-student ratio. Certainly if the Country’s most notable universities believe that doctors, engineers, and professionals of all disciplines, can receive quality education with classes that exceed 50 students per instructor,it only makes sense that a firearm safety class can provide appropriate instruction in similar settings.
Furthermore, we believe its clear based on the omission of a specific curriculum requirement in the text of the law, as well as the language in the statute restricting the DOJ’s authority to “rulemake” the legislature desired to leave the content of the named “firearm safety classes” up to the national or state organizations that certify firearms instructors.
Chairman/President – Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
The point about universities is excellent. Material is often taught at Student/instructor ratios of greater than 50 to 1.
The larger problem is that the law SPECIFICALLY precludes the Department of Justice from imposing these types of restrictions. The rules clearly overstep the limits set by the DOJ, and once the precedent is set that they are able to set these types of restrictions, there is nothing stopping them from tightening them to 25 to one, or even 5 or 10 to 1, which could significantly increase the cost of the classes, or reduce the great work Wisconsin Carry is doing in offering free concealed carry training.