A bill introduced by state lawmakers to change gun regulations in Wisconsin is drawing criticism from Republicans who argue the bill infringes on citizens’ Second Amendment right to own a gun.
The proposal, introduced by Milwaukee Democrats Rep. Leon Young and Sen. Spencer Coggs would require any handgun manufactured after 2011 and sold in the state to contain microstamp technology, according to Young spokesperson Rachel Rodriguez.
“A laser etches information about the gun onto the bullet casing when the gun is fired,” Rodriguez said. “So instead of technology that’s used right now that relies on distinctive patters on the bullets…that can only be matched up when they find the gun, this allows law enforcement officers to track down the weapon that shot the bullet even before they’ve found the gun.”
The bill would not increase the cost of guns nor does it try to eliminate any older guns currently owned by individuals in Wisconsin and will only have an effect on new guns, Rodriguez added.
Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, and Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, disagree with Rodriguez, arguing the bill will increase the cost of guns by $200 and infringe on individuals’ constitutional rights.
“Criminals are going to file off the microstamp and law abiding citizens are going to pay the cost,” Suder said. “In this tough economy, people who want to buy guns for sport or protection are going to have to pay a gun tax.”
Suder said he doubts the proposal will have any affect on current criminals, who are unlikely to get rid of their old guns or take their new ones in to get microstamped.
According to Suder, both he and Grothman are going to do everything in their power to make sure the bill is not passed by the Legislature.
“It’s going to be an uphill battle. We hope that people who care about the Second Amendment call their legislator and speak out against it,” Suder said.
According to Rodriguez, the bill is currently circulating the Legislature for co-sponsorship. If the proposal passes both the Assembly and Senate, it would be sent to Gov. Jim Doyle to be vetoed or signed into law.