In 2015, there were 170 homicides committed with a firearm in the state of Wisconsin. Of those, 125 took place in the city of Milwaukee (not to be confused with the county of the same name). So, while Milwaukee is not the scene of a low-level conflict, like Chicago, it still has a significant homicide problem. So it was no surprise that community leaders held a town hall meeting to discuss ways of stopping the violence. One of the participants was Milwaukee police chief Ed Flynn. When discussing the violence he pointed his finger at the people he said were responsible: holders of concealed carry permits.
The audience was able to submit written questions for the panel. One asked Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn whether Wisconsin’s concealed carry law contributes to the violence. Flynn said it does, saying because only convicted felons are barred from permits, so-called “human holsters” with cleaner records hold guns for big-time drug dealers.
“It’s an irresponsible law passed by irresponsible legislatures who are more interested in ideological points and I’d sure as hell like some more community outrage about that because that’s what driving the violence in this city and too many public officials are silent on it,” Flynn said.
Mike Crivello, president of the Milwaukee Police Association, the police union took issue with Flynn’s comments.
“I have never had a conversation with you, chief, relative to you displaying that we are arresting an overwhelming amount of people, or even one person, who’s committed a crime while carrying a CCW (permit,)” Crivello said.
“I am forbidden to tell the public when a CCW permit holder breaks the law. I’m forbidden by statute,” Flynn retorted.
There is so much wrong here it is hard to know where to start. The fact that the police union is calling bullsh** on Flynn’s bizarre statement is telling. First, the “human holster” idea is something that was invented by the Milwaukee police department. Exactly, precisely, one man has ever been accused of being one (read the story). The idea that there are numerous people who acquired a CCW permit for the purpose of actiong as a gunbearer for criminals who were afraid of carrying a gun is nuts. In fact, in every jurisdiction where concealed carry is in effect the crimes against persons is reduced. Rather than acting as a ladies auxiliary for the Brady Campaign, Flynn should be thinking about the carnage that would be taking place if only criminals were armed.
But the second point is more critical. Flynn claims the CCW law forbids him from telling the public when he arrests someone with a CCW for a firearms offense. This sounds, as a general once told me during a briefing, “incredible, not incredible ‘wow,’ but incredible, like ‘I don’t believe it.'” And this is not the first time Flynn has made both of these claims.
“What we’re seeing are more guns on the streets. I can tell you anecdotally we’re seeing a number of shootings involving concealed carry permit holders — many of whom have extensive criminal records — but I’m not allowed to tell you how many or whom, because the law has been carefully written to prevent analysis of that information.”
So our colleagues at Bearing Arms did the leg work:
I finally called the Milwaukee Police Department and asked if they could name the statute Chief Flynn referenced in his statement Monday night.
I was then transferred over to the Chief’s secretary, Staff Assistant Hendricks, who also did not know the state statute number but took my information and called me back this morning with the specific statute number Flynn is referencing with his comments.
According to Wis. Stat. § 175.60 12G (b)1.
1. Notwithstanding s. 19.35, neither a law enforcement agency nor any of its employees may make information regarding an individual that was obtained from the department under this subsection available to the public except in the context of a prosecution for an offense in which the person’s status as a licensee or holder of a certification card is relevant. (emphasis added)
So if Flynn did arrest someone who had used a firearm with their concealed carry permit to commit a crime, it is legally permissible for law enforcement and/or the prosecution to make that information available to the public.
And one has to believe that Flynn knows this is the case and is simply lying about the law because otherwise he’d have to show actual data that back up his point. In 2015, only 104 CCW permits were revoked in the entire state of Wisconsin based on a felony conviction. Either Flynn has a different idea of what constitutes “a number of shootings” or he’s simply shilling for the Democrats and gun-grabbers.