On Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed two pro-gun bills into law, including one that ended the state’s decades-long waiting period for handgun purchases. The legislation signed this week by Governor Walker included Senate Bill 70, which allowed former law enforcement officers to carry firearms near or on school campuses, and Senate Bill 35, which eliminated the state’s 48-hour handgun waiting period. Both bills were widely supported by pro-gun advocates, but especially SB 35, which activists have said would overturn a law that was no longer necessary due to modern background check systems. Governor Walker agreed.
“Due to National Instant Criminal Background Check System, waiting period is no longer needed. Wisconsin now joins 40 other states that do not have a wait,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Under the previous law, federally licensed firearm dealers must wait 48 hours before releasing a handgun to a buyer. The law was first passed in 1976, when the state did not have access to an instant background check system, but today the Department of Justice searches through 11 different databases when conducting a review, and many buyers are approved in less than an hour. SB 35 was authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake) to specifically eliminate the handgun waiting period and brings Wisconsin in line with most US states.
The NRA, which supported SB 35, praised Governor Walker on Wednesday for signing the bill.
“This important measure marks the end of an antiquated law that’s served as nothing but a needless burden on law-abiding gun owners in the Badger state,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). “We applaud the state legislature for making the preservation of Second Amendment rights a priority.”
Additionally, the NRA-ILA pointed to statistics that suggest waiting periods having no impact on homicide rates. Instead, some studies have shown that crime rates are actually higher in states with waiting periods than hose without.
“On behalf of all NRA members and Second Amendment supporters in Wisconsin, the NRA would like to thank SB 35’s lead sponsors, Senator Van Wanggaard and Representative Romaine Quinn, as well as Governor Scott Walker,” concluded Cox.
SB 70, which was also signed by Governor Walker on Wednesday, would allow off-duty, out-of-state, and former law enforcement officers to carry firearms on school grounds.
Image from Facebook