Republican legislative leaders were quick to respond Monday, as Governor Tony Evers called for a special session of the Wisconsin Legislature to take up two gun-control bills. Evers wants the Legislature to take up one bill creating universal background checks for most handgun purchases, and another bill to give judges the power to take weapons away from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
Today I called the Legislature to meet to take up 2 critically important bills that will save lives and reduce gun violence in Wisconsin by requiring universal background checks and creating an ERPO process. These bills are supported by an overwhelmingly majority of Wisconsinites pic.twitter.com/yQonuK6Nab
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) October 21, 2019
Majority Republicans aren’t required to debate or vote on the bills, but the announcement gives Democrats an opportunity to spotlight the issue.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a statement:
“A special session call will not change where my Assembly Republican colleagues and I stand on protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of Wisconsin citizens. As I have repeatedly said, we will not entertain proposals that infringe on our constitutional rights. Today’s call is another indication that Governor Evers stands ready to confiscate guns in our state.
“Governor Evers would rather score political points than effectively govern Wisconsin, where a vast majority want their 2nd Amendment rights protected. Assembly Republicans are committed to bringing people together by working on legislation that addresses important issues affecting the state including water quality, suicide prevention, homelessness and adoption.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald released a statement:
“Liberals across the country are upping their rhetoric in support of taking guns from law-abiding citizens. After the governor opened the door to a long-term plan of gun confiscation at his press conference last month, it’s easy to see how today’s action could just be the first attack on the Second Amendment. The Senate will not be part of a drawn-out strategy to infringe on constitutional rights.”
After the governor opened the door to a long-term plan of gun confiscation at his press conference last month, it’s easy to see how today’s action could just be the first attack on the Second Amendment. https://t.co/p7umkH7ytF
— Scott Fitzgerald (@SenFitzgerald) October 21, 2019
A Marquette Law School Poll conducted in August showed more than 80 percent of the public supports gun control.
In new poll, 80% overall support universal background checks for firearms sales, 16% oppose. #mulawpoll
— MULawPoll (@MULawPoll) September 4, 2019
This is the first special session Evers has called as governor.