In a bi-partisan vote just before midnight on Tuesday night, the Kenosha County Board voted 14 to 7 to allow concealed carry in most county-owned buildings. This includes taxpayers and employees. This measure was sponsored by Board Vice-Chair Erin Decker. Supervisor Yuhas proposed an amendment that passed -it directed employees who choose to carry at work to keep the firearm “on their person” and not in a desk drawer, purse, or an otherwise unattended location. Decker previously told KCE that she proposed the change because she feels that visitors to county buildings and county employees should not be denied the right to protect themselves. The “no guns allowed” signs went up in 2011 at the same time that the City of Kenosha government voted to allow guns in most City-owned buildings. Both City and County governments now have similar policies which Decker said will “eliminate confusion.”
Dozens of residents spoke at the citizen comments portion of the meeting that lasted a little over two hours. About half of the speakers opposed the measure and the other half supported the measure. Both groups seemed to agree on one thing: “No guns allowed” signs won’t stop someone from committing a mass shooting. Proponents of this measure said it would give the people inside the building a fighting chance. Supervisors John O’Day and John Franco were absent. Supervisor Berg, who was watching the meeting elsewhere showed up at almost the exact moment the citizens comment portion of the meeting finished and verbally accosted Supervisor Terry Rose before he took his seat. Some of the 7 supervisors that opposed concealed carry made motion after motion to amend, defer and even put the measure on the ballot in the form of a referendum. Supervisor Bashaw called these motions “delay tactics” and didn’t find them genuine. In the end, all of the delays failed and the resolution passed by a 2 to 1 margin.
Minutes after the concealed carry vote, another vote was taken. This was a resolution to declare Kenosha County a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. It proclaimed that the board would oppose any infringement of the constitution. This passed by a slightly larger majority, 16-6.
When contacted after the meeting Vice Chair Erin Decker told KCE “I’m happy that the vast majority of the County Board supports the Second Amendment.” Decker was joined by military veteran John Poole when drafting the Second Amendment Sanctuary County resolution.
The Democratic Party of Kenosha County started an email campaign where they asked members to send dozens of emails to the board members to oppose these measures. During the meeting, three of the board members were fervently texting others in the room.
Another board member, Rollin Pizzala was also present with his wife. He had blue painters tape on his chest with the words “No Guns” written with a sharpie. He and his wife oddly covered their faces for more than three hours from television and still cameras.
There were seven Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies at this meeting as the last meeting ended abruptly when Kenosha resident Joel Trudell was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Tonight’s meeting was peaceful and civil. Within six months, the County HR department will finalize the employees handbook and the “no guns allowed” signs will come down.
After the meeting was adjourned near midnight, KCE caught an elevator ride with Kenosha Alderman Anthony Kennedy (D). Kennedy spoke at county board meetings against lifting the concealed carry ban, which would put the county in line with the city’s policy. He himself voted in 2011 to allow concealed carry in City buildings. When pressed about his hypocritical stance in the elevator, he refused to answer this reporter’s questions, instead, he began to bang his head against the wall several times with great force and lifted his shirt to his neck and squeezed his breasts and shook his belly laughing hysterically.