The Wisconsin chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, the grassroots networks of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after lawmakers in the Wisconsin Senate yesterday passed AB 293, a dangerous bill that attempts to nullify federal public safety laws in Wisconsin as well as prohibit state and local law enforcement officers from assisting in the enforcement of those laws — including laws which help keep guns out of the hands of individuals with dangerous histories. The bill now goes to Governor Tony Evers’ desk.
“We are angry and disappointed that Wisconsin lawmakers passed a dangerous law to overturn federal gun safety laws,” said Carly Fisher, a volunteer with the Wisconsin chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Instead of taking real action to get a handle on the gun violence crisis we’re facing, our lawmakers passed a bill that punishes law enforcement officials for enforcing the few critical federal protections we do have. This makes no sense and will do nothing to protect our communities from gun violence. We are lucky to know Governor Evers is an advocate for gun safety who will veto this bill.”
“Lawmakers have multiple bipartisan bills in front of them this session to address gun violence, but instead, they have chosen to ram through a bill that does nothing to keep us safe,” said Aly Scanlon, a volunteer with the Wisconsin chapter of Students Demand Action. “Instead of focusing on partisan rhetoric, we should be prioritizing bills that are meaningful, and will help the citizens of Wisconsin combat the gun violence epidemic. We are disappointed that this bill passed, and will continue to stand against any attempt to weaken gun safety protections in Wisconsin.”
If signed into law, AB 293 would prevent Wisconsin state and local law enforcement from assisting in the enforcement of basic public safety laws and threatens to penalize law enforcement agencies and local governments for taking steps to protect their communities from gun violence. Bills to nullify federal gun laws directly conflict with provisions outlined in the U.S. Constitution, but aspects of nullification laws can also have a real world effect.
Wisconsin already has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Nullification legislation would undermine law enforcement efforts to curb gun violence by interfering with the enforcement of federal public safety laws.
In an average year, 621 people are killed and 1,093 others are wounded by guns in Wisconsin. Black people in Wisconsin are 26 times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people. Gun violence costs Wisconsin $3.9 billion each year, of which $138.6 million is paid by taxpayers.
Information on how Wisconsin’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.