The Wisconsin Senate has passed a bill that would allow concealed weapons in most public places.

All 19 Senate Republicans voted for the bill Tuesday, along with six Democrats. Eight other Democrats opposed it.

The bill would make Wisconsin the 49th state to legalize carrying hidden guns. Those who want to carry the weapons would have to obtain a permit.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker backs the bill. Before it would get to him, it must also pass the Assembly. That could happen later in the week.

The bill allows concealed weapons except in places such as police stations, courthouses and Milwaukee's Summerfest music festival.

Republicans say the bill will allow people to defend themselves. Democrats say the fact that exemptions were needed proves how inherently unsafe the measure is.