MADISON (WKOW) -- Downtown Madison business groups are proposing a ban on the patronage of recent, weapons offenders at participating businesses.
President Sachi Komai of the Greater State Street Business Association says the ban would involve people who have had a weapons arrest within the past year. Komai says it would serve as a deterrent to people who may have been arrested in connection with a weapon at one State Street bar, from simply taking their high-risk behavior to another pub down the block.
Executive Director Mary Carbine of Madison's Business Improvement District says the ban would also apply to repeat, retail theft offenders.
Organizers say violators of the ban would be considered trespassing at a participating premise.
Carbine says Madison's proposal draws from a universal trespass program used at Burlington, Vermont's outdoor Church St. Marketplace shopping district. Carbine says the concept of neighbor businesses honoring a patron prohibition at a business over crime has become a standard approach at shopping malls, with security personnel used to enforce bans. Carbine tells 27 News the downtown business district's open air setting puts more of a priority on the percentage of participation by affected businesses. Carbine says more than one hundred downtown businesses will be invited to be part of the proposed, collective ban.
Komai says participating businesses will display a decal with terms of the ban. Many downtown businesses already feature signs banning weapons, to access an exception to Wisconsin's law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons.
Hawk's Bar and Grill owner Hawk Sullivan tells 27 News he supports the ban concept, as another piece of a continuing, comprehensive effort to reduce downtown crime risks.
Carbine says signs prohibiting patronage by offenders covered under the ban may begin appearing next month.