Wauwatosa Common Council bans guns from city buildings

Wauwatosa's ban also applies to stun guns, knives

Oct. 5, 2011

Weapons are prohibited from city buildings, the Tosa Common Council decided Tuesday.

There was very little discussion on the topic before votes were cast, 12-4, in favor of the ban that covers guns, knives and electronic weapons. Local law enforcement officers will be the only people allowed to carry such weapons in municipal buildings.

A state law that allows people with a license to carry concealed weapons goes into effect Nov. 1. However, municipalities have the power to prohibit concealed and openly carried weapons within their buildings.

Arguing against the measure, Alderwoman Jacqueline Jay said the city's ban impinges on residents' rights under state law to protect themselves. In addition, she worried that people looking to cause problems or harm wouldn't adhere to the ban, leaving law-abiding residents vulnerable. She was joined in voting against a ban for city-owned buildings by Aldermen Tim Hanson, Cheryl Berdan and Jill Organ.

No one spoke in support of the ban; however, the issue had been discussed at length at the committee level in prior weeks. The city received more than 60 letters from residents supporting the local ban and only a single letter in opposition.

Signs will be posted at all entries to city buildings alerting visitors that weapons aren't allowed. A clause will be put in Hart Park facility rental agreements to prohibit organizers and their event participants from bringing weapons into the buildings there.

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