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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Proposed bill aims to prohibit firearms on Wisconsin university campuses

Signage prohibiting firearms outside of Eagle Recreational Center. Photo taken by Jackson Skarp.

A bill introduced by the Wisconsin Legislature would add public and private universities in Wisconsin to the list of places where possessing a firearm is prohibited. Introduced by State Senator Kelda Roys, Senate Bill 982 would align universities with Wisconsin K-12 schools that are already gun-free.  

On a student press call with Roys and co-Sponsor Democratic State Representative Deb Andraca, Andraca said she was, “immediately interested” in signing the new legislature into effect as a former elementary school teacher herself. 

Roys also has a personal investment in the bill with three young children and two college-aged stepchildren.  

According to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Police, a firearm cannot be brought to campus under any circumstance. All University Buildings including outdoor facilities are clearly posted ‘NO FIREARMS OR WEAPONS’ allowed. There is no exception for persons with a permit to carry a concealed firearm,” as stated on the website.  

Under current legislation in Wisconsin, firearms are not banned on university campuses, only in buildings where there is a posted notice. This legislation comes from Act 35 – a bill that legalized the carrying of concealed weapons, which supersedes UWL’s rule. 

Senate Bill 982 would ban firearms concealed carry throughout the campus, instead of just inside buildings with posted notices

One of the sources referenced by those in favor of this legislation was a study done by John Hopkins University on policy implications and evidenced research on firearms on campuses. The study showed how allowing guns on college campuses did not deter any mass shootings nor did it decrease the deaths that came as a result of those shootings.  

A significant aspect of the proposed bill is a change to the penalty for carrying a firearm where it is prohibited. The penalty would change from a trespassing violation to a Class A misdemeanor. 

When asked about the change, Andraca said, “We’re not trying to do anything above and beyond what our gun laws are currently, we’re not trying to go out of our way to over penalize people who are lawfully concealed carrying firearms, we just want to make our campuses safe and our laws consistent so they’re easier to follow.”  

In 1991 the Wisconsin legislature passed a bipartisan law creating gun-free school zones, and the proposed legislation would be catching colleges and universities in the state of Wisconsin up to the standard that has already been set.  

The Racquet Press will update this story as more information on Senate Bill 982 becomes available.  

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About the Contributor
Jackson Skarp
Jackson Skarp, Student Government Reporter
  • Year at UWL: Sophomore
  • PGPs: He/Him/His
  • Hometown: Cottage Grove, MN
  • Major: Communication Studies
  • Minor: Legal Studies and Philosophy
  • Other Campus Involvement: Pre-Law Society Member
  • Future Plans after Graduation: I plan on attending law school after graduation
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Finding new coffee shops to study at.
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