You’d be able to buy a handgun without waiting 48 hours to pick it up, under a bill passed in the state Senate. Democrats, like state Senator Janis Ringhand of Evansville, contended the state’s 48-hour wait became law in the late 1970s specifically as a “cooling off period,” to deter violent crimes of passion committed with handguns.
“Crimes of passion happen, regularly,” Ringhand said during Tuesday’s floor debate. “This bill was passed for good reasons, and I think we need to keep it place for equally good reasons.”
The bill’s author, state Senator Van Wannggaard (R-Racine), claimed that was never the law’s intent. “I would say that this was not, from what I can see, was not for a cooling off period,” he said. “As a law enforcement officer, I never thought of it that way.” Wannggard said the 1976 law was enacted in order to allow time to accomplish background checks on gun buyers.
“It’s not necessary for the check, we know that.” said Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison). “Forty-eight hours is there because sometimes rational people, normal people, get very angry . . . and lose control of themselves.” Republican backers say gun buyers who clear a background check should be able to take their handguns home that day. The bill now moves to the Assembly.