Senate Republican Van Wanggaard of Racine says the state’s 48-hour waiting period is no longer necessary, because background checks are now done almost instantly. Wanggaard says the waiting period is a penalty to individuals who can lawfully possess a weapon. “This (bill) is just going to eliminate that,” he says, “basically a time tax.”
Senate Democrat Fred Risser of Madison opposes reducing the waiting period. “I don’t see any purpose to it all all. What’s the rush?”
Wanggaard, a former police officer, can carry a handgun in all 50 states, but says even he would have to wait 48 hours to buy a new weapon. “I can carry six guns on me when I’m walking in there, but I can’t purchase the gun to walk out the door? That’s nonsense.”
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 hurt others or themselves. Wanggaard argues, if somebody’s thinking about violence, they’ll use what’s at their fingertips at the time. He says, there’s no waiting period to buy knives, baseball bats, and various other items that can be easily used as weapons.
The Assembly’s criminal justice committee will hold the hearing starting at 10:30.