Wisconsin Senate okays eliminating gun waiting period

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Wisconsin State Capitol

MADISON (AP) — The state Senate has approved a Republican bill that would eliminate Wisconsin’s decades-old 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The proposal now goes to the state Assembly. Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, supports the bill.

The waiting period was enacted in the mid-1970s. The bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Van Wanggaard, a Racine Republican, says the waiting period was meant to allow time for background checks but the checks now can be done far more quickly with computers and law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to wait for their guns.

Minority Democrats say eliminating the waiting period would allow angry people to get their hands on guns quickly.

Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) issued this statement to FOX6 News:

“I was always under the impression that the wait time was put in place to guard against impulsive acts of violence. When I was told that the bills drafting notes didn’t specify that intent, I let it go. However, Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) knew otherwise and produced copies of news articles from February 6, 1976, from the Capital Times newspaper. The headlines clearly read ‘Handgun Cooling-Off Bill Ok’d by State Assembly.’

Even after learning that they based their position on incorrect assumptions, the Republicans held to their guns. Wanggaard, after hearing the real intent of the two-day rule, said during his time in law enforcement, it wasn’t interpreted that way and that today the 48-hour rule was an inconvenience. When did extra precautions to save a life become an inconvenience?”

Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) issued this statement:

“Today’s actions come as a slap in the face to citizens desperate for solutions to increasing gun violence. Instead of focusing on ways to make our communities safer and implementing background checks for all types of firearm sales – which polling has shown a vast majority of the public and even 74% of National Rifle Association members support – Republicans took a completely irresponsible step backwards by ignoring the public safety and mental health needs of our community. We must do more to protect families against gun violence, not cave to the influence and pressure of gun manufacturers and lobbyists.

Unfortunately, today we saw another clear example of Republicans in the state putting special interest groups before people and sound public policy. Republicans passing this bill today is like eliminating stoplights, and pretending there won’t be more accidents.

Republicans in the Legislature need to put aside their blind support for Governor Walker’s ambitions, and stop passing bills to bolster his rhetoric while he tries to leave Wisconsin behind. Instead, they should join us in focusing on improving the quality of life of our neighbors here in Wisconsin. We’d be much better off as a state if leaders instead promoted our state’s shared values, such as investing in our kids’ schools, improving access to basic health care services, and creating family-supporting jobs that will help us grow the economy.”


  • ObamaSucks

    Democrats=fear monger. Facts are you don’t need a gun to kill someone there are plenty of other ways.

  • s holmes

    Save your talking points for the comming election larson, its a little early. 74 percent of NRA members want background checks for all firearm sales?..?..? 93 percent of dems support the Keystone Pipeline being built…see how that works?

  • why

    I agree with background checks and if someone is cleared…why not? Buying a gun legitimately should not be reverse lay-away! Mrs. Taylor I’m born and raised in Milwaukee and can see you are nothing more than a get pretty for Sunday service type of politician. Milwaukee has and will always be a racist, segregated city with non productive people like yourself in office. I don’t want to harm people but best believe if anyone tries to take my life’s works and accomplishments in a flash without a doubt I will shoot to kill and be made out to be a horrible person not someone who protected myself. As a political person it’s your responsibility to teach and educate individuals in your community and around you! Death is death. Murder is murder. We are all people ..ALL LIFE MATTERS!

  • Mon Back

    Stand by now! Law abiding non-criminal citizens can get their piece in just 24 hours in the city of Killwaukee! No waiting time for “angry people” to purchase baseball bats, knives, tire irons, ice picks, 2×4’s, and hammers! Bet McTrolly and Wandering Dicky Flynn are blowing steam out their ears just about now… just has to make it past the Rep. controlled assembly!

  • H. Mueller

    This two day waiting period was instituted in the early to mid 70s. It has since been rendered redundant and obsolete with the advent of the NICS background check. This two day wait applies to handguns, not long guns. If the criminal really needed to buy a firearm to kill whomever, said criminal (or future criminal) would just buy a shotgun or rifle at the gun shop, and it would not have the two day waiting period. Also, said criminal would just do what it normally does, it just steals a firearm, or buys it from another criminal, ignoring all existing laws.

    This two day wait on handgun purchases, as with many firearms laws, serves only to harass and inconvenience law abiding citizens by causing them to have to make an extra trip to the point of purchase to pick up their legal purchase.

    Thank you to the sponsors of this bill, and to Mr. Walker (in advance) for finally addressing this non useful, non effective harassment of legal firearms owners and potential owners.

  • Jacob A Juul

    I own many firearms.. How does making me wait 2 days to get another one effect anything ? It doesn’t besides the fact I have to wait for no apparent reason. Gun violence ismt even a huge threat. More people are killed by cars and knives then guns. So ban kitchenware and make it so we can’t drive cars? That wouldn’t make sense.. Plus… Anyone can go buy a rifle and leave same day anyways.. If they really wanted to do something why wouldn’t they use a bigger caliber and do damage… Because that makes sense. Guns aren’t bad, bad people with anything is bad. Get off the highhorse saying firearms are evil already its so stupid. Stop infringing on our right to barearms. That right is in place to protect the nation from a tyranical government so the people can stand up to it. So we can defend ourselves and protect our friends and family. Obama hates guns but I bet he has armed men follow him around. If you don’t support our constitutional rights and arent willing to uphold them for our country then you should be charged with treason and thrown out of the United States. Crimes happen in gun free zones. If a criminal wants to commit a crime he will, where there is no resistance a d can feel power. Eliminate gun free zones so Americans can defend themselves and woolah crime down. Worry about drunk drivers they are more of a threat than legal gun owners.

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