The Wisconsin State Assembly approved a measure on June 9 that removes the Badger State’s waiting period to purchase a handgun and will now allow former police officers who are licensed gun holders to carry a concealed firearm into public schools.
The bill, approved the Republican-led Assembly, removes the 48-hour waiting period to buy a handgun, which supporters believed hindered the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
On the other hand, Democrats were concerned about the safety of state residents, specifically women who are in relationships with domestic violence abusers.
“I don’t know how many more women have to die,” state Rep. Chris Taylor, a Democrat representing the state’s capital, said about the measure. “I don’t know how many more kids have to be murdered for us to do something about this.”
Republican lawmakers, including state Rep. Samantha Kerkman, believe that the new legislation will protect women as it will now be easier to defend oneself in an unsafe environment, the Journal-Sentinel reported. The bill’s sponsor also had something to say to critics.
“The bill is being made out to be something more than it is. You still have to pass the background check. You can’t be a criminal. This allows law-abiding citizens to take a gun home the same day. We can’t tell law-abiding citizens they can’t do that,” said Republican state Rep. Romaine Quinn.
Prior to Tuesday’s vote, the state Senate also approved the removal of the time restrictions. The bill now advances to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s desk, where he has already announced that he will sign it.
In addition, both chambers approved legislation that will allow former law enforcement officials to carry concealed firearms onto school property. Republican lawmakers that approved this measure stated that children will now be safer since there is another line of defense on campus, the Star Tribune reported.