In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker Signs Two Pro-Gun Bills

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed two new pro-gun Bills into law — Senate Bills 35 and 70.

The first measure expands the rights of gun owners by removing a 48-hour waiting period for those looking to purchase a firearm.

The second law allows off-duty or retired police officers to carry concealed weapons at public schools. Formerly, state law only allowed on-duty officers to do so.

Walker signed the two pieces of legislation at a ceremony at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday afternoon.

In more detail, under current state law, federally licensed firearm dealers must wait 48 hours after the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirms receipt of a request for a background check before transferring the handgun to the buyer.

Under Senate Bill 35, this waiting period is eliminated, and a federally licensed firearm dealer may transfer the handgun once the dealer has an approval number from DOJ regarding the firearm restrictions search, though DOJ is able to extend this search for up to five working days if they require more time to determine whether the buyer is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The forty-eight hour rule took effect in 1976, when Wisconsin did not have an instant background check system; today, DOJ searches up to 11 databases, and many buyers are approved within an hour.

Authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote, and was concurred on by the Assembly on a voice vote.

Senate Bill 70 relates to off-duty law enforcement officers, qualified out-of-state law enforcement officers, and certified former law enforcement officers carrying firearms on or near school grounds.

Under current law, people are generally prohibited from possessing or discharging guns on school grounds, as well as within 1,000 feet of school grounds, with the exception of on-duty police officers acting in their official capacity.

With the changes made under Senate Bill 70, off-duty officers, out-of-state officers, and retired officers will be allowed to carry guns in and near schools. Authored by Senator Van Wanggaard and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), it passed the Senate on a 22-11 vote and was concurred on by the Assembly on a voice vote.

 

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