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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

 3:19 PM 

Senate approves repeal of 48-hour waiting period

The Senate approved via voice vote to sign off on repealing the state's 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.

Dems proposed several amendments that were found non-germane because they expanded the scope of the bill.

That includes one from Sen. Nikiya Dodd Harris, D-Milwaukee, to implement universal background checks on gun purchases. She said she was sick of watching the Legislature sit on the sidelines while people in her community die from gun deaths.

“If you have the power to prevent one senseless death, would you do so? How about the power to stop one, two, maybe even hundreds of homicides that have occurred across this state the last few years. I don’t think that’s asking for a lot,” Harris Dodd said, growing emotional as she named children who have died in Milwaukee as a result of gun violence.

Dems argued cooling off periods create a safety guard. Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, said a constituent called to say the 48-period helped save his mother’s life because it prevented a family member who was having mental health issues from getting a gun to harm his mother. In the two-day period, the family was able to intervene.

But Sen. Van Wanggard, R-Racine, said a Mt. Pleasant woman who sought a handgun to protect herself and her two kids from her estranged husband in 1991 was told she would have to wait two days for the firearm she wanted. The next day, her husband killed her and their two children.

Wanggard said waiting periods puts domestic violence victims at risk by making them wait to protect themselves and argued there was no evidence that a waiting period cuts crime rates.



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