The State Department of Justice has quietly dropped the maximum 50:1 student/teacher ratio it established for firearms training required to qualify for a concealed weapons permit, according to state emergency rules rules distributed Monday.
That means a person can be fully qualified to carry a concealed weapon by attending a class with 1,000 other people. Actual shooting experience not required.
"The legality of the 50:1 requirement is being challenged in pending litigation," DOJ said in a statement explaining the decision. "In the course of that litigation, DOJ has determined that the 50:1 requirement is not enforceable under existing law and should be repealed."
The department already has stopped enforcing the class size limit, which was established by rule, the DOJ statement said.
"The public welfare requires formal repeal of the 50:1 requirement by emergency rule in order to make it clear to the public that the requirement is no longer being enforced and to promptly resolve the pending litigation with the least burden and inconvenience to the Court and the parties and with the least litigation expense to the people of the State of Wisconsin," the statement said.
Gov. Scott Walker approved repealing the class size limit. Concealed Carry, Inc. was the organization challenging the limit in court.
DOJ said in its statement the state law allowing Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons specifically prohibited the department from "imposing conditions, limitations, or requirements on the issuance of a CCW license that are not specifically provided for" in the statute.
Below is the rule. That language DOJ is eliminating is in bold.
TEXT OF THE PROPOSED PERMANENT RULE
SECTION 1. Jus 17.03 (8) is amended to read:
Jus 17.03 (8) "Instructor-led" means training that is conducted face-to-face individually or in groups with an instructor-student ratio that does not exceed 50 students per instructor and in which instructors actively guide students through each lesson, answer questions, facilitate discussion, and provide feedback on activities and assignments. Learner-led or self-directed learning — the delivery of learning experiences to independent learners who lead and manage their own experience, delivered via web pages, multimedia presentations, computer applications, online presentations, or similar methods — is not instructor-led.
The emergency rule is effective until Sept. 16.
Stay tuned for further challenges. The concealed carry statute also does not specify in-person instruction.
Photo by By Augustas Didžgalvis - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22909218
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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