MADISON, Wis. (WXOW/AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic lawmakers are proposing an expansion of background checks for gun sales in the state.
Republicans who control the Legislature have said they are opposed to such efforts. But Evers and Democrats are pushing it in the wake of two mass shootings earlier this month, saying the public is behind the idea.
“We have to stop ignoring the problem of gun violence in our state and our country, and it’s time for our elected officials to find the courage to do what is right,” Gov. Evers said in his remarks. “Addressing gun violence doesn’t have to be a false choice between the 2nd Amendment and keeping our kids and our communities safe—we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and a majority of Wisconsinites agree that no matter what kind of firearm is being purchased or where it’s being purchased from, the process should be the same.”
The bill unveiled Thursday would require background checks for handgun purchases with some exceptions. Sales to a firearm dealer, a law enforcement officer or member of the armed services, firearms classified as antiques or a gift or inheritance to a family member would be exempt.
Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to a $10,000 fine and no more than nine months in prison.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos earlier Thursday said the Legislature was “very unlikely” to take up a universal background check proposal.
WATCH LIVE: Gov. Evers announces background check proposal.Details: http://wqow.com/news/top-stories/2019/08/15/evers-democrats-offer-gun-background-check-bill/
Posted by WQOW News 18 on Thursday, August 15, 2019
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says gun control measures being pushed by Gov. Tony Evers are ineffective and “very unlikely” to be taken up by the Legislature.
Vos said on the Jay Weber radio show Thursday on WISN-AM that he does not support universal background checks or a “red flag” law that would create a process to take guns away from being determined to be a danger to themselves or others.
The Democratic Evers is considering calling the Republican-controlled Legislature into a special session to take up the bills.
But Vos says the proposals “are not going to be effective.” He says the red flag law would infringe on Second Amendment gun rights.
Instead, Vos says the Legislature should focus on mental health and suicide prevention efforts.