UPDATE: Local Wis. Leaders Can Ban Hidden Guns at Polls

UPDATED Tuesday, May 15, 2012 --- 11:17 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin elections officials have shifted their rationale for banning concealed weapons at the polls.

Local election clerks have asked the Government Accountability Board whether voters can pack at the polls. GAB attorney Mike Haas concluded local governments can ban concealed weapons at the polls because elections qualify as special events.

Haas told the board Tuesday his staff has adopted a cleaner analysis from the state Justice Department. That agency concluded a provision in the concealed carry law that allows local governments to ban weapons in spaces they occupy extends to polling places, whether the sites are on government property or not.

Haas says his staff will advise municipalities to develop their own policies. He wasn't sure they would have time to make decisions ahead of the June 5 recall, however.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Monday, May 14, 2012 --- 9:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State election officials say local governments can ban concealed weapons at all polling sites, from city halls to assisted living homes.

Government Accountability Board attorney Mike Haas writes in a report that Wisconsin's concealed carry law contains a provision that allows organizers to ban concealed weapons at special events. Haas writes that an election qualifies as a special event.

He also concludes officials at the polls have the right to maintain order and could legally order someone with a concealed weapon out if that person is disrupting the operation or distracting election workers.

Haas says GAB staff intends to tell municipalities that governing bodies such as city councils should decide on a weapons policy but will hold off until the state Justice Department reviews his analysis.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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