UPDATE: One Final Hurdle Awaits a New Concealed Carry Ordinance
The Public Safety Committee worked out an ordinance to counter the state’s new concealed carry laws.
UPDATE: The Village Board will not address Sussex's new concealed carry ordinance until Oct. 25.
The Public Safety and Welfare Committee made an official recommendation to the board during last Thursday's meeting with hopes board members would take action Tuesday night.
However, there were still a few things to address in the new ordinance, like whether private businesses can post signs to prohibit people with a concealed weapon to enter.
According to Jeremy Smith, the village administrator, the city of Pewaukee is already working out the verbiage for that issue. He says Sussex will wait to incorporate it in its new ordinance.
Village Board action is all that remains between a new ordinance in Sussex that would ban concealed weapons in village-owned buildings.
During Thursday’s Public Safety and Welfare Committee meeting, members fleshed out a plan in response to Wisconsin’s new concealed carry law, which will go into effect Nov. 1.
Under the proposed ordinance, no person but a sheriff, police officer, deputy or member of the military may bring a weapon into Village Hall, library and other municipal buildings. The law would not apply to village parks or the annual Lions Daze event.
Committee members said the biggest concern has been expressed by employees at the Pauline Haass Public Library because of the number of children and resident who frequent the building.
“People have the right to open carry, but they also have the right to feel safe,” said Trustee Timothy Dietrich.
Melissa Weiss, assistant to the village administrator, said employees at Village Hall have shown their full support for the proposed ordinance. Excluding the two residents who attended Thursday’s meeting, Weiss said the village hasn’t heard a word about the ordinance from other residents.
However, at the meeting, resident Dan Turkal insisted that committee members not recommend approval of the ordinance, saying it won’t help anyone in the long run.
“Banning firearms or weapons of any kid within the buildings or on the grounds is kind of a fruitless effort because we’re just removing the weapons that would protect ourselves,” Turkal said.
Despite his comments, the committee unanimously recommended the ordinance be passed by the Village Board. If it's approved, Sussex will join neighboring communities like Brookfield and Wauwatosa who also passed the ordinance.
The committee also discussed the possibly penalty for violating the ordinance. It recommended that the fines be similar to what they are for disorderly conduct — ranging from $150 to $500.