There was no action on gun violence in the legislature, but it was definitely “topic A” at the Capitol on Thursday. Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said taking guns from people posing a threat to themselves could reduce suicide rates. “If you want to reduce the number of suicides, you need to reduce access to firearms from those that are likely to harm themselves.”
Speaker Robin argued there are existing laws in place to take peoples’ gun when needed, and that a “red flag” bill deprives gun owners of due process. “Imagine that for any other circumstance. ‘We think that you might drive drunk, so we’re going to take away your car. We think that you might do something. I mean, even when you yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, it happens first, and then you’re prosecuted after. What they want to have happen is that you’re prosecuted first, and you have to prove yourself innocent. That is just a basic idea that far too many of us cannot accept.”
— Speaker Robin Vos (@SpeakerVos) November 8, 2019
Attorney General Josh Kaul argued it wouldn’t have that impact. “Red flag laws have been upheld in Florida, in Connecticut, and Indiana. And . . . the one we’re introduced here in Wisconsin is similar in design to other legislation that is already in place in Wisconsin, that allows for people who are dangerous to be disarmed.”
— WI AG Josh Kaul (@WisDOJ) November 7, 2019
Evers had called the special session on the red flag proposal, and on expanded background checks for gun purchasers. Both chambers gaveed in – and quickly out – without debate on either.