Committees Applauded for Holding Hearings on Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales

by Free Speech on April 13, 2010

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI
4/13/10

Two public hearings this week show that momentum is building in the state legislature to finally close a gaping loophole in Wisconsin law that allows dangerous individuals to purchase guns without ever having to go through a simple criminal background check. Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) applauds the committees for scheduling the hearings, which take this important legislation one step closer to becoming law.

The hearings are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, April 7, 1:00 p.m., State Capitol North Hearing Room (Second Floor), hearing on AB 914 in the Assembly Committee on Corrections and the Courts.

Thursday, April 8, 11:00 a.m., State Capitol Room 411 South, Hearing on SB 643 in the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing.

(WAVE’s Executive Director, Jeri Bonavia, and many others, including individuals representing law enforcement, medicine and domestic violence prevention, will testify at each committee hearing. In addition, WAVE staff will be available for interviews.)

Under current law, a criminal background check must be conducted on the prospective purchaser, when a firearm is purchased from a federally licensed gun dealer.  But no such background check is performed when guns are sold by unlicensed gun sellers or private individuals, who sell guns through classified ads, at garage sales, over the Internet, out of the trunks of cars, or at guns shows.

Because background checks are not required on every gun purchase, felons, domestic abusers, and other high-risk individuals have easy, unfettered access to guns.

“It’s as though we are saying to the bad guys, ‘Do you want to go through security screening or not?  It’s your choice.’  What if we used this kind of optional system at an airport and let passengers decide whether or not they wanted to go through security?  I don’t think anyone would believe for a second that it could work. Not surprisingly, optional security doesn’t work for gun purchasing either. With such an enormous loophole in current law, it’s no wonder that criminals get guns, and it’s no wonder that we have so much gun violence in our state and across the country,” said Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort.  Approximately, 30,000 U.S. citizens, including 450 Wisconsin residents, are killed by gunfire every year.

In March, WAVE hand delivered approximately 6,000 postcards signed by citizens from each of the 99 Assembly Districts to demonstrate the depth of grassroots support for this commonsense legislation. And more than 80 organizations have signed a statement indicating their support for requiring background checks on all gun sales.

A bipartisan and statewide poll found overwhelming support across the political spectrum for requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales in Wisconsin. For example, 84% of likely voters, including 7 out of 10 NRA members and supporters, agree that anyone who buys a gun should have a background check.

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