A public hearing will be held Thursday on a bill that would end Wisconsin’s waiting period to purchase handguns. The Assembly’s criminal justice committee will hold the hearing on a measure that’s winding its way through both houses.
Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) first proposed the bill a few weeks ago. He said the state’s 48-hour waiting period to buy a handgun is no longer necessary, because background checks are now done almost instantly. Therefore, Wanggaard calls the waiting period a “time tax.”
Mental health advocates say those in emotional distress need a cooling-off period before they should able to get a weapon, so they’re less likely to kill others or themselves.
Wanggaard, a former police officer, does not buy that line of reasoning. He said that if somebody’s thinking about violence, they’ll use what’s at their fingertips at the time.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Wisconsin is among ten states and Washington DC which have laws that set waiting periods to buy guns.