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State senator says inaction will lead to more mass shootings

After a series of horrific mass shootings across the country Gov. Tony Evers called for a legislative Special Session to address gun violence by strengthening background checks and enacting Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO). Despite the public demand for action, Senate Republicans are refusing to bring the legislation up for a vote, or even allow discussion on the Senate floor. In response to their neglect for public safety, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement: “Gun violence is one of the most pressing public health issues we face today, and this special session is the legislature’s opportunity to take meaningful action. It is dangerous and irresponsible for Republicans to say, ‘There is nothing we can do.’ As legislators, we need to have the strength and courage to stand up for the lives lost from gun violence and the survivors that still grapple with the trauma they went through. For the first time in eight years, we have a Governor and Attorney General who are offering more than thoughts and prayers to end gun violence and support victims and their families. Let it be clear that what stands in the way of voting on commonsense gun safety issues are Republican politicians and their loyalty to the NRA. Every day that Republicans ignore this crisis is one more day closer to another tragedy.”

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.

Mass shootings can be prevented. Politi-Fact Wisconsin recently confirmed the troubling reality that a loophole in state law allows dangerous convicted felons and domestic abusers to purchase firearms without going through a background check. Several individuals have already exploited this loophole to acquire firearms and stockpile arsenals that are then used to commit mass murders.