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Evers Calls Special Session on Gun Control

As Gov. Tony Evers calls a special session on gun control, both Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Republicans would not take up bills that would infringe on constitutional rights to own guns. (Pixabay)
As Gov. Tony Evers calls a special session on gun control, both Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Republicans would not take up bills that would infringe on constitutional rights to own guns. (Pixabay)
October 22, 2019

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers is pushing for two gun-control bills stuck in limbo, as Republican lawmakers refuse to debate or bring them up for a vote.

The governor called the Legislature into a special session set for early November to discuss the bills, which would enforce background checks, as well as a red-flag law that gives courts authority to take guns away from someone they deem to be a threat. Republican lawmakers say the bills infringe on Second Amendment rights.

Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said the special session will force the bills to the spotlight.

"I think that there is a tightly focused kind of view of what is happening in the Legislature, and I don't think that legislators will be able to just brush this off,” Bonavia said.

According to a poll from Marquette University's Law School, 80% of Wisconsin residents support the gun-control bills.

The background checks would be conducted for online, gun show and auction purchases. Meanwhile, the red-flag bill would allow guns to be seized for up to 1 year. Bonavia said the special session will be a self-check for Republican lawmakers.

"I think it's going to make our leadership in the Legislature need to answer questions and really shine a light on how they are standing in the way of life-saving policies,” she said.

The special session is set for Nov. 7, when Gov. Evers will call for a vote on both bills. However, it's expected to be a tough sell for the Legislature, where members of the Republican majority have said the answer to gun violence is to focus on mental-health services.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - WI