Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Student supports right to carry concealed weapon in city buildings

Justin Myatt testifies before the Madison Common Council. Badger Herald photo by John Lemmon

The City of Madison should allow people to bring concealed weapons into municipal buildings, La Follette School student Jason Myatt told the Common Council on October 18 shortly before it approved a weapons ban. The proposal infringes on constitutional rights, Myatt told the council. He was the only person who registered in opposition of the new ordinance.

"Concealed carry is legal in 48 states. There has been no proof whatsoever that it's caused increased accidents or increased crime,' Myatt said," the Badger Herald reported. Myatt noted that people in Michigan opposed a similar measure 10 years ago but now view it as a "'nonissue.'"

"Although it's very unlikely that one would need to defend oneself in a public building (but not impossible, workplace shootings occur), if one can't carry inside the building, they can't carry during travels to and from that building," says Myatt, who is earning a dual degree in public affairs and law. "When travelling to or through more dangerous neighborhoods, one is more likely to be the victim of a crime. Thus, a public building ban can effectively prohibit one from ever legally carrying a weapon to defend oneself outside of the home, if they have to, at any point during their day, go into a building where weapons are prohibited."

"This is, of course, remedied if one has a car to store their weapon," Myatt adds, "but for a city like Madison that prides itself on effective mass transportation and on being friendly to bicyclists, the effective prohibition has a much bigger impact than just "you can't carry in a public building.'"

Council: Concealed carry off limits in city's buildings, October 18, 2011, Badger Herald