SAFE Act Standardizes Gun Surrender Procedures
(MADISON) – After nearly a two year process, in response to the horrific shootings in Brookfield and other places in Wisconsin, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Gary Bies (R-Sister Bay) have successfully shepherded legislation to create a statewide surrender of firearms for perpetrators of domestic violence. The SAFE Act (Stopping Abuse Fatalities through Enforcement), AB 464 was the product of collaborative work with several domestic violence prevention and law enforcement organizations, to close the surrender of weapons loopholes that allowed some violent offenders to keep their firearms.
“Across Wisconsin there were inconsistent standards, or sometimes none at all, for the collection of weapons owned by domestic abusers, but today we showed how Democrats, Republicans, victim’s advocates, law enforcement and gun-rights advocates can all work to together to ensure that victims are safe from senseless violence,” Senator Taylor commented.
AB 464 requires surrender of firearms possessed by a person under a restraining order, and an injunction by a court in cases of domestic violence. Failure to surrender firearms within 48 hours would result in the issuing a warrant for the offender’s arrest. The bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote in February and in the Senate today, making the lack of real enforcement procedures in 70% of Wisconsin’s counties, one signature away from being a problem of the past.
Taylor said, “senseless acts of violence in Wisconsin, caused from our failure to retrieved guns from domestic violence abusers, who are 500% more likely to kill their partners, was an issue that both sides of the aisle, and groups statewide were determine to address. In an effort to make sure that victims are adequately protected all around Wisconsin, we knew AB 464 could make a difference, we just needed to make it the statewide standard to save lives. Without question, today is a victory for victims, families, and all Wisconsinites.”