Wisconsin Republicans respond to Michigan student shootings, bill allowing more guns in schools

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Michigan high school, in which four students were killed as well as six students and a teacher were injured, the Assembly State Affairs Committee held a public hearing on the proposed Legislative Assembly Act 597 (AB 597) makes it easier to own a firearm in some schools in Wisconsin.

“Republican lawmakers must stop listening to extreme gun groups and the NRA and start listening to their constituents,” said State Representative Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay). “An overwhelming majority of Wisconsin voters want laws that protect the public from our epidemic of gun violence, and don’t allow more guns in more places – especially schools. “

AB 597 would allow a person to own a firearm in a place of worship on the grounds of a private school, if the written policy of the place of worship allows it. The Wisconsin Council of Churches, Wisconsin Catholic Conference, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) are opposing the legislation while the Wisconsin Gun Owners Association and NRA have signed up to support it.

“The Oxford High School tragedy in Michigan underscores the need to store guns safely, locked up and out of the reach of children, teens and those with intent to harm,” said the representative of State Lisa Subeck (D-Madison). “This is why my fellow Democrats and I introduced our ‘safe storage for the safety of firearms’ legislation requiring the safe storage of firearms. Instead of pushing forward legislation that would only increase the number of guns in schools, I urge my fellow Republicans to join us in supporting our safe storage legislation and other good reforms. meaning to prevent gun violence.

The six bills included in the “Safe Storage for the Safety of Firearms” legislation are:

  • LRB-0936 would require businesses that sell firearms to secure all firearms when the business is unattended. This bill would prevent criminals who break into a gun store from simply walking away with as many handguns as they can carry.
  • LRB − 1097 would require a firearm owner to store his firearms in a locked container or to use a locking device if a child lives in the residence or is present in the house.
  • LRB-1099 would require the vendor to provide the person receiving the weapon with a secure locking container or trigger lock for the firearm at the time of the sale or transfer of a firearm.
  • LRB-1100 would require reporting of lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours of discovery of their loss or theft. This legislation enables law enforcement to trace firearms more effectively and makes the successful prosecution of stolen gun users more likely.
  • LRB-4334 would make it a Class A offense if a person leaves a firearm in their vehicle unattended and unlocked, and the firearm is subsequently stolen.
  • LRB-5408 would require a firearm owner to store their firearms in a locked container or with a locking device engaged, except when carrying the firearm, if a person who cannot legally possess a gun lives in the residence.

“In addition to the ‘safe storage for the safety of firearms’ bills introduced last week in September, my colleagues and I have proposed legislation that guarantees background checks on all arms sales to fire (AB 637) and establishes an ordinance of protection against extreme risks (ERPO) (AB 638). ERPOs allow local law enforcement to respond to situations like the Michigan tragedy before it’s too late, ”said Andraca. “Unfortunately, none of these bills has gone to a public hearing. As elected leaders, we should prioritize proposals that could save the lives of Wisconsinians. “

While taking no action on most gun safety measures, Republican leaders have held hearings or passed bills that:

  • Legalize having firearms in a vehicle on school grounds (AB 495)
  • Restrict the application of federal firearms regulations (AB 293)
  • Limit the civil liability of manufacturers, sellers and dealers of firearms (AB 572)
  • Repeal hunter training requirements for children under 18 (AB 670)
  • Reduce the age to be eligible for a concealed carry permit (AB 498)
  • Reduce or eliminate concealed carrying requirements and allow firearms in taverns, police stations, reformatories and secure mental health facilities (SB 619)

“We have the power to fight gun violence with safe storage laws and other common sense laws that preserve public safety without violating anyone’s Second Amendment rights,” said the representative of the United States. State, Subeck. “Every Wisconsin family deserves the peace of mind that their children are safe from gun violence, whether they are at home, at school or in the community. “