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This week, Democrats introduced legislation to require background checks for nearly all types of firearm purchases. Currently, federal law requires background checks only for guns sold through licensed dealers, while private-party transactions are not covered. This loophole allows domestic abusers, felons, and people prohibited from possessing firearms due to mental illness buy guns without a background check through gun shows and online vendors. No one should be able to avoid a background check.

Too many Wisconsinites are affected by gun violence, and everyone deserves the opportunity to go to school, a place of worships, or any other public space knowing that they are free from the threat of deadly weapons. It's time to close this loophole, and ensure background checks on all purchases are completed before guns are sold. 


Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27




Statement from Senator Erpenbach: 

I stood with Governor Evers, Lieutenant Governor Barnes, Attorney General Kaul, and Middleton Police Chief Foulke, along with other Democratic colleagues, as Representative Sargent and Senator Johnson announced their proposal to close the background check loophole on the sales and transfers of guns. I am proud to sign onto this legislation as a co-sponsor.

Gun violence is an issue that is affecting everyone across America, including Wisconsin. Just last year there was a shooting at a workplace in Middleton that has left people scarred, and day after day we hear of another incident. 81% of voters support background checks. Outside of the State Capitol, this is not a partisan issue. Everyone deserves to feel safe when they go out in public, and closing this loophole is the first step towards diminishing the threat of deadly weapons and protecting Wisconsinites.

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Republicans are leaving small dairy farmers behind

On August 12, Governor Tony Evers sent a letter, addressed to President Donald Trump, urging him to end the unnecessary and irresponsible trade wars that are having a severely negative impact on our farmers. The appeal followed a letter sent on May 30 from myself, along with my Democratic colleagues, addressed to the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, with the same request- end the trade war. Unfortunately, no Republicans signed the letter.

The trade wars have contributed to the devastation of too many farming communities. While the President exclaims that we are “winning” trade wars, the reality is that farmers, manufacturers, and consumers in America are paying the price. The trade war will only continue to drive up costs, bankrupt farmers, and result in Wisconsin losing thousands of jobs.

Overnight, Republicans destroyed trade relationships, at the same time that the Wisconsin agriculture industry is stressing the importance of dairy exports. Small Dairy Farmers deserve better.

 Tracking Legislation: The Medicaid Expansion 

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Community Programs and Announcements 

Update from the DATCP: Equifax Settlement Could Put Cash in Your Pocket

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirms that a horse and a mule on the same premises in Taylor County have tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA). These are Wisconsin’s first confirmed cases of EIA in almost 15 years. There is no treatment for EIA, therefore to prevent transmitting it, infected animals are humanely euthanized.

EIA is an infectious and potentially fatal viral infection that affects only equine species, such as horses, ponies, zebras, mules, and donkeys. Symptoms can vary and may include fever and uncontrollable bleeding that can progress to weakness, weight loss, depression, and in some cases death. Horses can get the disease through blood-feeding flies, such as horseflies and deerflies. The virus can also be transmitted between horses through re-used needles and syringes, blood transfusions, and other contaminated equipment. 

Read more.


Update from the DNR:

Visitors to the Wisconsin State Park System are being asked to vote in the 2019 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Gold Seal Awards contest. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks runs the Gold Seal Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin's parks, trails, and forests. The contest ends on Friday, August 30th.

Bonus fall turkey harvest authorizations will be available for purchase beginning on Saturday, August 17th, while bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations will be available for purchase starting Monday, August 19th.

• DNR is partnering with organizations across the state to host Learn to Hunt events. Learn to Hunt combines classroom and field instruction for beginners before pairing participants with an experienced hunter. Participants will learn hunting rules and regulations, sportsmanship and ethical hunter behavior, and basic gun safety.

• DNR will present Lake Michigan fishery management options for public input at informational meetings scheduled for September 3rd and 4th.


 In the News

MU Poll: Large Majority Favor Universal Gun Background Checks

A mostly on target claim: 97 percent of gun owners support universal background checks

Sen. Jon Erpenbach: Democrats give Republicans a second chance to expand health care