State Rep. Deb Andraca
Press Release

Gun Safety Legislation Introduced in State Legislature

Proposed Bills Close Loopholes, Empower Family Members to Help Reduce Gun Violence

By - Sep 23rd, 2021 02:38 pm

MADISON, WI  — After a year of record firearms sales and increasing rates of suicides and accidental shootings, State Representative Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) and legislative colleagues introduced two firearm safety bills and called for bipartisan support to help prevent gun deaths in Wisconsin.

“For years our elected leaders have not only failed to respond to gun violence, they refused to even discuss it,” said Andraca. “These bills can save lives in every part of the state, urban and rural, red and blue, and are supported by 80 percent of Wisconsin voters. They are consistent with our Second Amendment rights and provide strong due process protections. I urge all my colleagues to come together to support this legislation that will save lives and make all our communities safer.”

LRB-2751 would require a background check on all gun purchases in Wisconsin. Under current law, a gun purchased at a licensed firearms dealer requires a background check, but a gun purchased online, at a garage sale, or from a private, unlicensed seller does not. This loophole in state law was exploited by the Brookfield Azana spa shooter, who had a criminal history of domestic violence but was still able to get a gun and kill four people in a hair salon.

LRB-3007 would create an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). 19 states have ERPO laws, which allow a judge to order guns to be removed from a situation where there is clear evidence of someone in crisis or an individual planning a mass shooting. Without an ERPO, if a parent or friend suspects someone has a gun and is at imminent risk for suicide or violence against others, there is no recourse to help prevent such a tragedy before it’s too late. The Supreme Court has upheld that the right to bear arms does not extend to those who pose a threat to the safety of themselves or others, and states such as Indiana, Florida and Connecticut have used ERPO laws to successfully reduce suicide rates and prevent mass shootings at schools and workplaces.

“Both of these bills are supported by law enforcement officers and responsible gun owners, because they know how important it is to keep guns away from those who want to harm themselves or others,” said Andraca. “These are data-driven, common-sense solutions to a crisis that is devastating families and communities all across the state.”

Although mass shootings and homicides grab all the headlines, in Wisconsin 70 percent of gun deaths are suicides[1]. Guns are exceptionally effective at killing people and, as a result, are also a particularly devastating means of suicide. Only 4 percent of non-firearm suicide attempts result in death, but when using a gun, suicide is fatal 90 percent of the time[2]. Veterans and law enforcement officers, who have high rates of gun ownership, are at particular risk, with more law enforcement officers dying by gun suicide than in the line of duty. With the right intervention and response, these are preventable deaths.

September is Suicide Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or text HOPELINE to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor. For more resources see https://www.preventsuicidewi.org/find-help

[1] https://preventfirearmsuicide.efsgv.org/states/wisconsin/

2 https://www.everytown.org/issues/gun-suicide/

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2 thoughts on “Gun Safety Legislation Introduced in State Legislature”

  1. Mingus says:

    I commend Representative Andraca for proposing some common sense bills on guns. Calling it “Fire Arm Safety” is an accurate description of what is needed. Conservatives will attack it and will continue to push for anyone to have any gun anywhere. In these mass shootings, the “good guy with a gun” is never there and if he or she is, the shooter takes them out as part of the massacre.

  2. blurondo says:

    “It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.” The New York Times, 12/5/15.

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