Today marks the first day people can carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin, but some Sussex businesses are putting a stop to that.
Under a new village ordinance, businesses are allowed to post signs at every major entrance announcing they aren’t allowing people with a concealed weapon to enter the building. Business owners can call the police on anyone who disregards the signs.
The village adopted the new ordinance on Oct. 25, giving area businesses little time to decide on whether or not they’ll post a sign. However, some Sussex retailers are already on top of the ordinance.
“It scares the (expletive) out of me,” said Amanda Buskirk, manager of TailGators Sports Bar & Grill. “We will be posting a sign.”
“Alcohol and guns shouldn’t be together,” said Nick Grass, manager of Dive Bar. “That’s just not something that’s needed here. People want to come and have a good time and not worry about if someone has a gun on them.”
Along with bars, a few other businesses are covering their bases with signs. North Shore Bank had their sign printed and mounted already on Monday, and the Pauline Haass Public Library is getting ready to post its signs as well.
“We got some feedback from the community that there’s really no need for guns at the library,” said Kathy Klager, the library director. “I think people will just feel safer.”
However, some places around Sussex don’t feel the need to post a sign, or managers are still deciding. Sussex Bowl’s general manager, Stepehn Hoehnen, said he’s not posting signs at the bowling alley and bar.
“No, we’re not posting the signs, because the people that get the permit to carry, they might follow the rules, but everyone else is going to do it whether we post something or not,” Hoehnen said. “I’m not against the law, but they’re going to bring a weapon in regardless of a sign.”
Other Sussex residents, on the other hand, say a ban shouldn’t even be a possibility. During the Oct. 25 Village Board meeting, Dan Turkal said he would feel less safe with these signs because he wouldn’t be able to defend himself.
“I’m supporting to not pass this ordinance, based on the fact that it’ll be ineffective,” Turkal said. “If we put a sticker in a window, it’s not going to prevent someone from going in and shooting up the place.”
Reaction in the Milwaukee area
Businesses in Sussex might be taping up their signs, but that doesn’t mean Milwaukee-area giants are doing the same. Here’s a look at what major Milwaukee businesses and attractions are doing about the new law, according to BizTimes.com.
- The company will not be posting signs to prohibit carrying a concealed weapon in their grocery stores. A spokesperson for the chain said they don’t prohibit it in Minnesota either where a similar law is in effect.
Wisconsin State Fair
- Representatives from the fair say they’re still waiting to hear about some questions they have. Their situation is different because although they’re a state agency, the company subcontracts events to other people. They’ll be making a decision during their board meeting in December.
Aurora Health Care
- Signs have already been posted at every facility across the state to prohibit weapons in the buildings.
The Bradley Center
- The venue will continue to not allow weapons on the grounds. The building was a weapons-free place before, and will continue to be. Signs will be posted at the entrances and online.
The Summerfest Grounds
- Signs will also be posted at the Summerfest grounds to prohibit weapons in the gates. A representative says security at the park will continue with its regular bag checks and pat-downs before entering for a festival.
The Milwaukee County Zoo
- Signs have already been posted at the zoo prohibiting any weapons in zoo buildings or on the grounds.
Archdiocese of Milwaukee
- A statement released yesterday says it’s up to each individual parish to decide whether or not to post signs, but the archdiocese strongly advises people not to carry a weapon into a church as a sign of respect.
JP Morgan Chase Bank
- While Sussex’s North Shore Bank already has its sign up, the Chase branch decided not to post signs because it hasn’t seen any problems in other states with the law.