Madison Metro weapons ban to be challenged - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison Metro weapons ban to be challenged

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A court challenge appears to be in the offing against Madison Metro's exclusion of even, legally concealed weapons on its buses.

Nik Clark of Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Carry Inc. tells 27 News Metro officials informed a conceal carry permit holder of his inability to bring a weapon on a bus, and gave him legal standing to file a lawsuit over the policy. Clark says the gun advocacy group will assist the permit holder, and a legal filing could take place within a month.

Clark says the bus ban is unlike weapons bans at places such as city halls, because mass transit riders are foreclosed from carrying almost everywhere, if the concealed weapon cannot be carried onto their mode of transportation.  

But Metro general manager Chuck Kamp says the state's concealed carry law allows for the designation of certain areas as weapons-free.

Clark says depriving mass transit users of legally carried, concealed weapons makes them more vulnerable. Clark says as a group, bus riders may be more vulnerable than many others to becoming crime victims.

Kamp says safety is the primary reason the ban is in place. He cites recent episodes, when passengers spotted other riders displaying guns, or fake guns, or spotted them inadvertently, and reported their discoveries to drivers.

Bus driver Margaret Bowman tells 27 News she appreciates the rule.

"I just think too many things can happen, if we let guns on buses," Bowman says.

But Kamp concedes there are other, mass transit systems in Wisconsin that do allow legally, concealed weapons on buses.

Fifteen years ago, several Madison Metro bus riders were critically burned, when an unstable passenger brought a gas can on a bus, and lit the fuel. The incident led to more restrictions on what can be carried on.

Clark tells 27 News the traumatic event involved different circumstances, than the presence of a legally carried weapon on a bus.

When Illinois recently became the final state to approve of the concealed carrying of weapons, the law included a prohibition on concealed weapons on buses.

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