Gun shop security bill gets public support

Published: Feb. 14, 2018 at 6:29 PM CST
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A bill that would require Wisconsin gun shop owners to lock up or secure their guns when stores are closed had a public hearing at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

Ten people registered in favor of

, including Madison Police Chief Mike Koval and Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney. No one registered to speak against the bill.

The owner of CTR Firearms in Janesville, Chris Endres, spoke in favor of the proposal. His gun shop was broken in to in January. Burgles could not get access to any guns. He locks his guns in a safe every night when the store closes.

He says all gun shop owners should be required to lock up their guns to prevent them from getting in to the wrong hands.

"They're chaining cars to the building and ripping sections of the buildings apart so no matter what you do, as far as cameras and bars and doors, nothing is keeping people out. My vault kept people out when they broke in to my store," Endres said.

State Representitive Lisa Subeck (D - Madison) first introduced the bill in October. She said it was inspired by an April break-in at Armageddon Supplies in Janesville and an October break-in at PT Firearms in Cross Plains.

In January, CTR Firearms in Janesville, Armagedden Supplies in Janesville and Max Creek Outdoors in Oregon were all broken in to. All three cases were "smash-and-grab" burglaries.

"At some point, we have to make sure that people that are handling the firearms and buying firearms and accessing firearms are people that should legally have them and the only way we're going to be able to do that is making sure that they're not accessible by people who can't have them, which starts with locking up the guns," Endres said.

No one registered to speak out against the bill at a public hearing on Wednesday. Some gun shop owners have expressed concern over the cost of implementing new security measures. Some gun shop owners have also said that moving guns in and out of secure areas could damage them.

The bill now waits to be picked up for an executive session.