Republicans Failed to Make Their Case for Preventing Gun Violence

MADISON – All Senate Republicans were absent from today’s special floor session, called by Governor Tony Evers to address the gun violence epidemic.

Democrats introduced gun violence prevention legislation, supported by 80% of Wisconsinites, to protect individuals in crisis and to make Wisconsin communities safer. Assembly Bill 431 would create universal background checks for firearm purchases. Senate Bill 530 would enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders, a civil process for families, close friends and law enforcement to petition the court, under due process, to have firearms temporarily removed from a person who is at risk for harm to themselves or others.

Since the bills were introduced, in September and October, respectively, Republicans have not held a public hearing or a vote on the bills. With the Senate not likely to meet until next year, Governor Tony Evers called a special session to encourage lawmakers to discuss and vote on these gun violence prevention measures.

In response to today’s special session, Senator Jeff Smith (D-Brunswick) released the following statement:

“Time and again, Republicans offered their thoughts and prayers as a response to tragic gun violence. Today, Republicans were incapable of offering even that small shred of respect to the 80% of Wisconsinites that support gun violence prevention measures. Their absence sends a strong signal to survivors and the family of gun violence victims that their voices don’t matter.

“This is an upsetting end to a week where Republicans repeatedly denied the will of the people. We showed up to make our case for commonsense gun reform – the least the Republicans can do is show up to make their case.”


The 31st Senate District includes all of Buffalo and Pepin counties and portions of Trempealeau, Pierce, Dunn,
Eau Claire and Jackson counties and very small portions of Chippewa and St. Croix counties.