By John Rondy
MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Republican Governor Scott Walker signed a bill on Friday allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons, leaving Illinois as the lone state with a ban on concealed weapons still in place.
Under the Wisconsin law, gun owners who want to carry concealed weapons will have to get special training and permits. Permits and photo IDs are required when carrying a concealed weapon.
The state Department of Justice will issue permits to state residents 21 and over who get training and clear background checks that show they were not felons or otherwise prohibited from carrying guns.
"By signing concealed carry into law today we are making Wisconsin safer for all responsible, law abiding citizens," said Walker in a statement.
Twice in recent years the Wisconsin legislature passed a law allowing concealed carry but then Democratic Governor Jim Doyle vetoed it. Doyle left office in January and was succeeded by Republican Walker.
Opponents of concealed carry have said that allowing more freedom for citizens to carry guns in public places will increase violence rather than reduce.
After Walker signed the bill at a ceremony in Wausau, guns will be allowed in most public places except police stations, courts, schools and businesses that post signs. Concealed weapons could also be carried in parks and taverns.
In April, lawmakers in the Illinois state House attempted to pass a measure that would have allowed gun owners to carry them in public, but it fell short of the number needed to pass.
(Writing and reporting by John Rondy; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)
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