wisconsin capitol
Press Release
October 6, 2011

From Behind Office With Locked Elevator, Guard at Front Desk, Van Hollen Calls for Concealed Carry in State Capitol

Public Prohibited From Floors in Risser Building With Van Hollen, Staff, but Attorney General Wants Hidden Guns in Capitol Staffers Workplace

MADISON, Wis. — Attorney General JB Van Hollen, under fire from the nation’s largest gun manufacturing lobby, has announced his support for allowing concealed guns to be carried in the State Capitol. Van Hollen’s announcement did not note the majority of his staff and his office is located across the street from Capitol in the Risser Justice Building, where both a guard and locked elevators prevent public access to Van Hollen’s workplace.

“JB Van Hollen is trying to save his reputation with the big gun manufacturing lobby by calling for concealed carry in the state capitol,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “It’s pretty easy to call for concealed guns in the workplace when you have a guard and locked elevators keeping the public out of your workplace.”

Van Hollen told the media that he supported allowing guns in the State Capitol and state office buildings, including the Risser Justice Center, but neglected to note both he and the hundreds of DOJ employees in the Risser Justice Center are housed on top floors of the building that cannot be accessed without an electronic key card.

“Van Hollen supported Gov. Walker and the Republicans wasting millions of dollars on armed guards and metal detectors to restrict access to the State Capitol by the peaceful protestors opposing Walker’s attacks on workers’ rights,” said Ross, who worked in the Risser Building for the Department of Justice in the mid-’00s. “But now he wants concealed firearms in the State Capitol. I guess it’s all in the timing.”

Van Hollen has been under fire for refusing a request to assist in the John Doe investigation of members of team Walker, while at the same time wasting tax dollars to try and overturn the federal health reform act. The health reform bill increases access to care, prevents health insurance companies from denying people with pre-existing conditions and allows young adults without coverage to remain on their parents’ health care plans until the age of 26.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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