Soglin backs lawmakers who want to regulate guns on buses

Soglin backs lawmakers who want to regulate guns on buses

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is getting behind a legislative push to regulate weapons on buses after a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling allowed guns on city buses.

Soglin appeared at a news conference Thursday with Democratic state Reps. Lisa Subeck, Terese Berceau and Melissa Sargent to discuss the legislation.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled last week that Madison’s Metro Transit cannot continue banning weapons on city buses under the state’s concealed-carry law.

“For years, cities and counties that operate public transit systems determined whether or not to allow weapons on their buses, and that should never have changed,” Subeck said. “This legislation enables those responsible for providing transit services to determine how best to ensure their employees’ and their riders’ safety.”

State and local governments currently have the authority to prohibit a person from carrying a weapon into public buildings. The proposal would give state and local governments the same authority over a public mass transportation system.

Soglin said city buses are city property and should be treated the same as other city properties. He said the bill is the “only safe and prudent way” for the city to handle safety issues raised by the ruling.

Republican leaders overseeing record majorities have already said they have no interest in such legislation. Assembly Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he’d never support it.

Other cities whose policies were affected include Oshkosh, Janesville and Beloit. Subeck said the group has not spoken with other cities concerned about the ruling.

Officials with Madison Metro said they are working to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, but they are looking forward to the new initiative being put forth by Democrats.