As the Wisconsin legislature convenes for their 2023 legislative session today, lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass common sense gun safety measures. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers continues to prioritize gun violence prevention but due to inaction by lawmakers at the statehouse, Wisconsin still does not have many of the fundamental gun violence prevention laws that have been shown to save lives. This session the Wisconsin legislature will have to opportunity to pass some of these critical laws, including gun suicide prevention legislation and an extreme risk protection law.
Additionally, lawmakers will have the opportunity to pass legislation to require background checks on all gun purchases and should prioritize allocating funding to support community-based violence intervention programs. Everytown polling shows 94% of Wisconsin voters support background checks.
During the 2021-2022 legislative session, Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action volunteers advocated tirelessly for foundational gun violence prevention measures. They also worked to block dangerous gun bills like permitless carry and campaigned for gun sense candidates, helping to secure Governor Evers’ re-election.
Here’s what you need to know about gun violence in Wisconsin:
- In an average year, 641 people die and 1,028 are wounded by guns in Wisconsin.
- Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Wisconsin, and an average of 51 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 43% are suicides and 51% are homicides.
- Communities of color disproportionately bear the burden of our country’s gun violence crisis every single day. Black people in Wisconsin are 26 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide.
- In Wisconsin, 68% of gun deaths are suicide and 30% are homicides. This is compared to 59% and 39% nationwide, respectively.
- Gun violence in Wisconsin costs $1,448 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Wisconsin $8.4 billion each year, of which $144.3 million is paid by taxpayers
More information about gun violence in Wisconsin is available here.