Senator Harris Dodd Urges Committee Chair to

Hold Public Hearing on Background Checks

MADISON- In response to President Obama’s recent executive actions concerning gun violence, Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd (D-Milwaukee) today sent a letter to Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, asking him to hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 159 (SB 159) which would require background checks on the sale of all firearms in the state.

“Every week, families across my district grieve the deaths of their loved ones,” Senator Harris Dodd stated in the letter.  “Our state and our nation have been shaken throughout 2015 by deadly acts of gun violence.”

In 2015, the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission has so far recorded 145 homicides in Milwaukee, with many deaths still being under investigation. Over 80% of those homicides were firearms-related. Senator Harris Dodd introduced a number of proposals in 2015, including SB 159, in an effort to combat the growing violence across the city.

Senator Harris Dodd’s letter explained, “We must be willing to have tough conversations about the use of deadly weapons if we are going to begin to address gun violence in Wisconsin.”

Outside of her work on legislation to combat gun violence, Senator Harris Dodd annually hosts Unite Milwaukee, an anti-violence summit aimed at connecting community members of all ages to the resources they need to combat violence in their neighborhood. The 2016 summit is scheduled to be held this upcoming April.

A copy of Senator Harris Dodd’s letter to Senator Wanggaard can be found here.