JUNEAU — Dodge County will follow federal guidelines when the concealed carry law takes effect next month. That is because the Dodge County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night could not agree on their own set of rules and regulations pertaining to the new state law that will take effect Nov. 1.
According to the state law, local government bodies can prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms into buildings owned by that unit of government.
According to the resolution proposed to the county board by its executive and building committees, the county should prohibit the carrying of firearms and weapons in buildings that are owned occupied or controlled by the county or any of its subunits, except by law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
But the discussion among board members quickly headed in the direction of the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to bear arms.
After learning that eight constituents wrote letters in favor of banning concealed weapons in county buildings and at special events, Supervisor Rodger Mattson of Beaver Dam and chairman of the building committee said, “I did not sign this, I am not in favor of this.
“This is blown way out of proportion,” Mattson said. The supervisor then asked Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls about the second amendment.
“You have been able to carry since America was created,” Nehls told the supervisors. Mattson asked if people did not conceal weapons would they still be stopped. If a woman took a weapon out of her purse and put it in a section that is visible, would she be stopped.
“We are making a mountain out of a mole hill,” Mattson repeated on several occasions.
The resolution provides no enforcement for the policy, Supervisor MaryAnn Miller, Beaver Dam, member of the executive committee said.
The resolution also stated that signs would be posted in county buildings prohibiting the carrying of weapons. Miller questioned the cost of the signs. “With open carry I plan to wear a holster around my neck,” she said, raising laughter among those in the room.
Some supervisors questioned the county’s liability associated with posting of concealed carry regulations. Instructors have warned against postings, Mattson said.
Supervisor Jeff Berres of the town of Shields said he contacted a representative in Madison and learned the state was planning to allow open and conceal carry. Only certain federal areas would be regulated, he said.
Berres made a motion to “sit back and look at the possibility of controls only where needed,” he said.
Following the 10-minute discussion, the board moved to table action on the concealed carry regulations until its Dec. 20 session.
Several municipalities and school districts have adopted policies banning the carry of weapons into facilities. Earlier this month, the Jefferson County board adopted a resolution banning carry of concealed weapons.
Board supervisors approved two rezoning requests in the town of Emmet for the future expansion of Spuncast Inc. James and Kim Lapp petitioned the Emmet Town Board to rezone 8.8 acres of land from rural development to industrial zoning, while Kevin Luczak also petitioned the board for one acre of land from rural development to industrial zoning, also for expansion of the company. The two properties are located across the street from the foundry.
“They (Spuncast) are crowded where they are,” Supervisor Bill Nass of the town of Emmet told fellow supervisors. Anything we can do to help the business is appreciated, he said. The company hired 60 people in the past 100 days, he added.
Both zoning requests were unanimously approved.
In other business, the board:
— Approved a fund transfer of $17,319.34 from the contingency fund to pay for recount and recall elections.
— Amended the town of Burnett zoning ordinance to make the zoning regulations more consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan and the county’s farmland preservation plan.
— Approved the purchase of a 2012 cargo van for $38,467 for the transportation of federal prisoners.
— Heard from Russ Freber, director of maintenance, the water infiltration problems at the Administration Building. Work on the replacement of 11 stones will begin next week and take three to four weeks to complete. The county plans to budget $50,000 the next four years to cover the costs of repairs.