Newspapers Banned in WI Capitol, but Concealed Guns Are OK

If only certain lawmakers valued the First Amendment as much as they do the Second.

Wisconsin Assembly leaders came to an agreement Thursday to eliminate the body's all-night sessions, but Republicans were able to force through stricter rules on Capitol visitors, banning everything from cellphones to newspapers.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The rules in the gallery will also prohibit bags and briefcases, which will require the installation of lockers at an undisclosed cost. But Republicans left in place their rule from last session allowing concealed guns and other weapons for people with a valid permit.

You read that right. Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly view newspapers as a threat, but think there's nothing wrong with sporting a concealed handgun.

Republicans passed the new rules over objections from Democrats, who view the state GOP as attempting to eliminate the type of public dissent that occurred during the 2011 protests over collective bargaining.

"Mind your manners if you dare watch our legislature," said Wisconsin Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe, who snapped a picture of the Assembly's onerous rules.

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