State legislatures introduced a bill Aug. 29 which would enforce stricter gun control if passed.
Wisconsin’s current law prohibits those who have been convicted of a felony, those who have been found not guilty of a felony by reason of mental disease or defect, and those who have been convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms. The penalty for breaking the law includes 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.
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Senate Bill 376 would prohibit firearm ownership for those who received a misdemeanor for domestic violence. This bill will be reviewed by the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties because this bill would revise a penalty of a crime.
McKenzie Bagley from the office of State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, said this bill may never make it to the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties because there are additional steps to go through including a public hearing.
Studies show when states broaden gun control laws to cover abusive dating partners, the states experience a 16% reduction in intimate partner gun homicides.
A similar bill exists on the federal level. Congress adopted the Lautenberg Amendment in 1996. The amendment makes it a felony for someone convicted of a misdemeanor for domestic violence to own a gun.
State Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee, signed SB 376, along with 12 other state representatives.
“Any time I see a piece of gun safety legislation I’m going to sign on because if you see what is happening around the country, we need to start getting a handle on this stuff,” Sinicki said.
Sinicki said a serious discussion about gun control needs to happen because of recent events, such as in Milwaukee, where a woman was shot in a fatal road rage incident.
State Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, also signed on to SB 376 and believes this legislation is critically important.
“By disrupting convicted abusers’ access to firearms, we can save the lives of abuse victims, as well as the children, friends, and family members who are often caught in the crossfire,” Neubauer said in an email.