Eau Claire Transit getting ready for concealed carry

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) It’s been more than a month since Governor Scott Walker signed the concealed carry bill. But several questions remain for the Eau Claire Transit System.

The system said it’s looking into the possibility of posting signs on city buses discouraging passengers from bringing guns on board.

Eau Claire Transit Manager Mike Branco said public transportation is barely mentioned in the new concealed carry bill.

“We are considered a public property so we lump that in with other public properties. But it’s not a solid object so there are a lot of things that go into this and we’re still researching what we’re going to do,” Branco said.

He said the Transit Commission will be working with city attorneys to determine how they can honor the new law while still keeping passengers safe.

“Naturally there are going to be some safety concerns that are involved with allowing weapons on board. Safety is our number one concern. The big question is should we post something or leave it alone,” Branco said.

Bus riders WEAU 13 News talked to on Friday morning said they’d feel uncomfortable knowing their fellow passengers were carrying guns.

“I don’t think it should be allowed, you never know what could happen,” said bus passenger Kelly O’Donnell of Eau Claire.

“Some people get mad and they can’t control their tempers and they snap,” said bus passenger Jim Fouts of Eau Claire.

Theresa Meyer, who takes mentally handicapped people on city buses, said guns could create a tense environment for them.

“I could see a lot of fear on their part as well as everybody else not feeling safe on a bus. If you see someone with a gun the natural reaction is going to be to step away from them,” Meyer said.

The state said carrying concealed weapons with a permit will become legal in November.

Branco said this issue will be discussed by the Transit Commission on Wednesday.

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