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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

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Ready or not, concealed carry law takes effect Tuesday

Wisconsin's new concealed carry law will take effect on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Wisconsin businesses that take no action will by default allow concealed weapons to be carried by their employees, vendors and customers on their premises.

If business owners choose to prohibit concealed weapons, they must post a conspicuous notice (at least 5 inches by 7 inches) near the entrances to the building, stating that carrying concealed weapons is prohibited.

Employers also will need to expressly inform their employees in writing that weapons are prohibited.

Except for military or law enforcement personnel, an individual is only authorized to carry a concealed weapon if he or she obtains a "CCW license" by completing an application through the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The law was written with a legal incentive to encourage businesses to allow concealed weapons to be carried. Businesses that impose restrictions on weapons will forfeit the state's legal shield of immunity from the consequences of that decision. A business that does not prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on premises is immune from any liability arising from that decision.

An employer can prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons on the job (whether on or off the employer's premises), but may not prohibit the employee with a CCW license from carrying or storing a weapon or ammunition in the employee's own vehicle, even if the vehicle is used in the course of employment or is parked on the employer's property.

Meanwhile, the issue of concealed carry in the capitol building in Madison is still being sorted out by the very lawmakers who enacted the law.

A hodgepodge of restrictions is emerging in the Capitol. The assembly, led by Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), plans to allow concealed weapons to be carried on the assembly floor and in the assembly viewing galleries. The assembly is waiting today for an overall Capitol policy from Gov. Scott Walker's Department of Administration…

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Harley's remarkable recovery continued in the third quarter, as the company's net income grew to $183.6 million.
Harley's remarkable recovery continued in the third quarter, as the company's net income grew to $183.6 million.

Harley is riding high with lower labor costs

A year after threatening to move work out of Wisconsin and demanding major concessions from its union employees, Harley-Davidson Inc.'s profits are soaring.

The iconic motorcycle manufacturer's remarkable recovery continued in the third quarter, as the company's net income grew to $183.6 million, or 78 cents per share, from $88.8 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 5.1 percent worldwide in the third quarter compared with the prior-year period, led by a 5.4 percent rise in the United States.

The company expects to ship 228,000 to 235,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2011, including 45,500 to 52,500 motorcycles in the fourth quarter.

"We are pleased with our sustained progress and we continue to realize strong momentum in the transformation of our business," said Keith Wandell, president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson.

"Two years ago we embarked on our strategy to focus solely on the Harley-Davidson brand, provide the flexibility required in today's market and make Harley-Davidson lean, agile and more effective than ever at delivering remarkable products and extraordinary customer experiences. Today, we continue to see the positive results of the course we have charted," Wandell said.

"The changes underway in manufacturing, product development and retail capability will increasingly enable Harley-Davidson to be customer-led like never before. Harley-Davidson's transformation involves a tremendous
amount of highly complex, challenging work across every part of the organization.

While much remains to be done, we are well down the road and everyone involved deserves much credit for bringing these changes to life. I continue to be impressed by the willingness of all employees, including the union leadership, to do the necessary things to transform our business to be a world class, sustainable operation."

Contrast those statements w…

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Employers need concealed carry policies now

In addition to remembering to turn their clocks back an hour, business leaders will have one additional task on their calendars this fall: Establishing a concealed weapon policy for their workplace.

What about you? Are you going to allow your employees, customers and vendors carry concealed weapons in your office, shop or plant?

You best make up your mind soon. The new law allowing qualified Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons will go into effect Nov. 1.

In a recent poll of readers at BizTimes.com, 74 percent of respondents said they would not allow employees and customers to carry concealed weapons.

However, having that belief and taking action to prohibit them are two different things. Doing nothing has the default effect of allowing people to carry concealed weapons.

If business owners choose to prohibit concealed weapons, they must post a conspicuous notice (at least 5 inches by 7 inches) near the entrances to the building, stating that carrying concealed weapons is prohibited. They also will need to expressly inform their employees in writing that weapons are prohibited.

No matter what you decide, your decision will have ramifications.
I recently asked attorney Jennifer Walther of Mawicke & Goisman, S.C., Milwaukee, to outline the key factors business owners need to be aware of as this law goes into effect.

Walther suggests considering the following:

  1. A license is required. Except for military or law enforcement personnel, an individual is only authorized to carry concealed weapons if he obtains a "CCW license" by completing an application through the Department of Justice (DOJ).
  2. The right to self-defense has not changed. A CCW license does not give anyone new or additional rights to exercise self-defense or defense of others. Under existing law, a person can defend himself or a third person by using as much force as necessary to prevent or stop an attack, but cannot intentionally cause death or great bodily harm unless necessary to prevent …
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For sports writers, objectivity comes with the job, and that means no cheering.
For sports writers, objectivity comes with the job, and that means no cheering.

Confessions of a diehard Brewers fan

I've been given credentials from Major League Baseball to be in the Miller Park press box as far as the Milwaukee Brewers go in this postseason.

That's an honor and a privilege I do not take lightly.

But just between our readers and me, I would like to make a little confession. I'm worried that maybe I don't belong there.

You see, for many of the games each year, I am fortunate enough to attend with my wife and our two sons, and we sit in our company's season ticket box seats behind home plate. There, I can yell and scream and celebrate every moon shot that Brewers sluggers Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart send into the Milwaukee skyline.

Like everyone else in the paid seats, I'm a fan, and I play the part.

It was not always that way. I began my journalism career as a sports writer. I quickly learned that my job was to be an objective reporter. My job was not to root for the home team. My job was to report what happened to the home team in a nonpartisan, straight-forward way.

Though it was difficult, I quickly learned to become a detached observer when it came to the athletes and the teams I was covering. It also greatly illustrated to me how professional sports, at the end of the day, is big business. BIG business.

Truth be told, those realizations took nearly all of the luster out of sports for me for a while, as I became somewhat jaded and cynical about sports and the role they play in our society.

Then fatherhood happened. Watching my sons play sports with the sheer joy that children bring to the playground rekindled something in me.

Today, I do my best to do my current job of objectively reporting news and providing analysis on the business and political beats for BizTimes.

But I confess that when it comes to sports, I am a homer. And I have had a particular blast watching the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers play baseball this year. I love their swagger, their camaraderie and their talents. I am a fan. When I go to their games, I can't h…

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