Assembly Democrats Lead on School Safety; Republican Failure to Address Gun Violence Leaves Schools and Communities Vulnerable

March 22, 2018

MADISON – Today, Democrats offered a robust school safety plan that includes ongoing funding and support for school districts to make safety improvements and commonsense measures to prevent gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them. After seven years of abject failure to address an epidemic of gun violence, Republicans again today voted against commonsense measures, like universal background checks, to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals who intend to do harm. Republicans rejected the school safety plan offered by Democrats today on a party-line vote.

“Given the opportunity to keep our children safe in our schools and in our communities, Republicans failed miserably,” said Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison). “We cannot accept regular lockdowns and persistent fear of mass shootings as the new normal for children and teachers in our schools. Democrats offered a plan to keep our schools and communities safe, but Republicans stand in the way of even the most commonsense gun safety measures.”

The plan offered by Democrats would have made our schools and communities safer by providing funding and support to school districts for planning and implementation of safety measures; investing in school safety resources including behavioral supports, conflict resolution, restorative justice, risk assessment, and emergency preparedness; and keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals through universal background checks for all gun purchases, lethal violence protection orders establishing a process for law enforcement or family members to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from a person at risk of harming himself or others, restoring a 48 hour waiting period for handgun purchases, and banning bump stocks which can be used to convert firearms to automatic weapons.

“Keeping our children safe – whether at school, at home, or in our communities – is a top priority for Democrats,” said Representative Subeck. “Today, Republicans again failed to act on measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people intent to do harm and therefore failed our children, our schools, and our communities.”

Last week, thousands of local students descended on the State Capitol while students at schools throughout the state walked out of class to demand action to end gun violence. These students are speaking out about their fears in light of the most recent school shooting in Florida and an epidemic of gun violence in their communities, and they are calling on us to keep them safe from gun violence. The school safety plan offered today by Democrats is reflective of what these students have asked us to do.

“Young people across the country and right here in Wisconsin are rising up and speaking out against gun violence, and their message is clear: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Now is the time for action,” said Rep. Subeck. “I am proud to stand with these young people who are demanding safer schools and leading the way toward an end to gun violence once and for all.”