Wis. lawmaker wants liability penalties for businesses banning guns

Like Minnesota’s, Wisconsin’s gun carrying law allows businesses to ban guns in their workplace simply by posting signs saying they’re not allowed.

A state lawmaker there, however, wants to discourage them from doing that.

Rep. Bob Gannon, R-Slinger, is proposing legislation that would triple the damages for any shootings that occur at a business where guns are banned, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today.

Under Gannon’s bill the liability would attach automatically. In other words, if someone — a concealed carry permit holder or otherwise — injured or killed someone with a gun inside a store that had a sign prohibiting weapons, the business would be on the hook for triple the damages to any victims.

Gannon, who is in the property and casualty insurance business, said he was not aware of any similar law in other states.

“The insurance industry won’t like it,” he said, because insurers would have to raise rates for customers insisted on banning weapons from their sites, or insist on more security or metal detectors

Now, residents could choose not to enter businesses that post signs banning weapons if they feel such locations are unsafe, but Gannon says that if businesses do not allow “personal self-defense devices,” they must guarantee customer safety in other ways.

Gannon says he won’t reveal the names of lawmakers who support his bill until January.