Erik Gunn

Bipartisan Bill Bans Guns For Those Convicted of Domestic Violence

Bill extends firearm prohibition to anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.

By , Wisconsin Examiner - May 14th, 2021 01:38 pm
Hanging sculpture of guns from another angle. Photo by Craig Mastantuono.

Hanging sculpture of guns from another angle. Photo by Craig Mastantuono.

People convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence would be barred from owning a firearm under a proposed state law introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The legislation would bring Wisconsin law in line with federal law, which already prohibits people from owning firearms if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.

Wisconsin currently bars convicted felons from owning a gun, but not people convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor charge.

The bill was introduced Thursday in both the Assembly (AB-321) and the Senate (SB-317).

In the Senate, the bill is sponsored by four Republicans and four Democrats. In the Assembly, 10 Democrats joined two Republicans as cosponsors.

If the bill is enacted, a person convicted of violating it would be guilty of a felony, facing up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both. Those are the same penalties for illegally owning a firearm as a convicted felon in Wisconsin.

The bill defines misdemeanor domestic violence to include a series of crimes by an adult against a family member, a former spouse, someone with whom the person has a child in common or a partner in  a “dating relationship.”

The potential criminal acts include battery, fourth-degree sexual assault, endangering safety with a dangerous weapon or violent or abusive behavior to harm, intimidate or threaten the victim. The bill also adds to the definition of domestic violence other misdemeanor crimes committed in those relationships, if the court assessed an increased penalty because the crime was committed while possessing, using or threatening to use a dangerous weapon.

Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.

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