Senate committee passes bill that would eliminate 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases

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MADISON (WITI) -- Republican lawmakers in Madison want to eliminate the state's 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases. But Democrats say that could lead to criminals getting guns faster.

The gun debate returned to Madison Thursday, March 12th as lawmakers discussed the period you have to wait to purchase a handgun.

State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), has authorized a bill that would do away with the two-day waiting period.

"That was to give dealerships the ability to check and make sure that individual had the ability to lawfully posses it," said Wanggaard.

It's been on the books since 1976, but Wanggaard says with current technology, most background checks can be completed in a matter of hours or even minutes.

"If they don't come back clean, they don't get their license approval," said Wanggaard.

Wanggaard says a person should be able to walk out of a store with a gun as soon as the background check is complete.

"My question for Senator Wanggaard would be, what is the necessity?" said Representative Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee).

In the Milwaukee area, where gun violence is a persistent problem, lawmakers are opposed to the bill.

"This is a reckless maneuver to do away with a necessary procedure," said Rep. Barnes.

Rep. Barnes says the bill would undermine efforts by the mayor and the police chief to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

"It will make it easier for people who shouldn't have handguns to obtain those handguns. What it will do is allow people who are in the heat of the moment have more rapid access to a violent weapon," said Barnes.

But Wanggaard says the 48-hour period doesn't change criminal behavior, it only hurts potential criminal victims. He says his bill is designed to change the equation.

"What it does is give the victims, or the potential victims of crime and abuse the ability to help their families," said Wanggaard.

The Senate's Judiciary Committee approved Wanggaard's bill 3-2 on Thursday -- clearing the way for a full Senate vote.

Since 2011, Wisconsin has passed two controversial gun-related measures. First the concealed carry law and then the Castle Doctrine, which allows homeowners to defend themselves against intruders.

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12 comments

  • Robert Martin

    Look! If someone wants a handgun to kill someone, who are we to say you have to wait 48 hrs.!

    • 3fgburner

      Waiting periods do absolutely nothing to prevent crime. The original reason was for a background check (which the cops generally didn’t bother to do anyway). The current NICS check takes 15 minutes, max. The only purpose of keeping a waiting period is to be a nuisance to gun buyers.

    • D. Zagame

      Look! If YOU want to make an asinine comment, who are we to not allow you be held for a 48hr common sense hold! WOW how pathetic!

  • s holmes

    Dems want to give their special ones the “first 48”. They have to be a special kind of stupid to think the waiting period affects a gangbangers street firearm purchase.

  • ObamaSucks

    If you want to kill someone you could just run them over. I don’t care either way but if I’m mad enough to kill them 2 days isn’t going to make a difference.

  • D. Zagame

    Ya we can’t take away the 48 hour period, I want the criminals to abide by the law and wait the 48 hours to obtain their firearm! Oh wait, they don’t abide by the law anyway!! I swear liberals have NO COMMON SENSE!

    • PH

      Agreed, I don’t think liberals think or even bother to consider other arguments on issues. Do they even read the bills or laws? They blindly vote their party lines and go in a panic about everything!

  • PH

    Criminals always buy guns at Cabelas and reputable stores, right? Oh wait, don’t they get them illegally on the street anyways…. Why can’t liberals understand that the background check can be completed in less than 48 hours, why bother waiting when the check comes back within the hour?

  • Z

    Yes, fighting to keep the ole’ 48 hour waiting period in place will sure stop those pesky criminals! Because we all know that they follow the law and never obtain their firearms illegally!

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