Eliminating the waiting period for new handgun purchases gets a public hearing at the Capitol Thursday.
Rice Lake Republican Romaine Quinn sponsored the Assembly bill (AB-49). He says it brings the gun background check system into the 21st century. “The background system has not kept pace with the rapid technology and the progress we’ve made. With the technology available today … the vast majority of background checks are completed approximately in an hour.”
Quinn notes there’s no waiting period to purchase shotguns and long guns.
Racine Republican Van Wanggaard is the sponsor of the Senate bill (SB-35). He says a host of other items can be used as a weapon with no waiting period, including a baseball bat, steak knife or shotgun.
Tony Gibart with Domestic Abuse Wisconsin takes issue with that claim, saying eliminating the 48-hour waiting period would put victims at risk. “If we had to choose whether we would want an attacker to attack us with a firearm or some other weapon, I think we would all choose some other weapon because we all know instinctively that a firearm is more lethal.”
Gibart says family and “intimate assaults” involving fire arms are 12 times more likely to result in death than assaults without guns. Having a gun in the house of an abused woman increases her chance by five of being killed in a domestic homicide.
Wanggaard says only eight states, including Wisconsin, require a waiting period at the point of sale prior to transfer of a handgun.