Democratic Lawmakers Statements on Special Session to Tackle Gun Violence

MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statements after Governor Tony Evers called for a legislative Special Session to address gun violence by strengthening background checks and enacting Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO): 

“Gun violence is one of the most pressing public health issues we face today and I appreciate that Governor Evers is tackling this issue head on,” said Shilling. “Too many men, women, and children have already died as a result of gun violence. Families should feel safe from the threat of deadly weapons and dangerous individuals. Action is needed to prevent more tragedies from happening.”

“While there are no easy solutions to end gun violence in our communities, we cannot sit back and do nothing. There's a role for state government to play, and we need to make it a priority. Failing to act on these basic public safety measures is accepting that there is nothing we can do to make our communities safer,” Hintz stated. “With six months left in the legislative session, Democrats refuse to settle for inaction. We are calling on our Republican colleagues to do the right thing and act in the best interests of the people of our state. The governor’s call for a special session on gun violence, with a focus on universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders, shows he is serious about facing this issue and reasonable in his approach. It’s important to note that the policies proposed by Governor Evers have proven to be highly effective in other states.”

Mass shootings similar to El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH have happened right here in Wisconsin communities including Middleton, Brookfield, Oak Creek, and Wausau. A Marquette Law Poll found 80 percent of Wisconsinites – including the vast majority of gun owners – support strengthening background checks. That same poll also found that 81 percent of Wisconsinites support Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation that would reduce an individual’s access to firearms if they pose a danger to themselves or others.