STATE CAPITOL -- A legislative committee is considering a gun control bill with strong backing from the Milwaukee District Attorney. It would make it a felony to knowingly buy a gun for a felon.
A hearing this week on the "straw gun buyer" bill prompted some partisan debate in the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice. Its sponsor, Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford is one of the most adamant gun rights advocates in the legislature. [Wheew! Must be a NRA member too!]
But he says this bill is needed to give prosecutors the tools they need to prevent people from buying guns for felons. Gunderson says it makes sense to put some teeth in gun laws to try to stop people who are buying firearms illegally.
Gunderson's bill only applies to people who lie on a background check form at a licensed gun dealer and sell their gun to a felon. Democrats on the committee want to add amendments to the bill that would cover guns purchased at gun shows as well.
Milwaukee DA John Chisholm supports the bill, but he'd like to see it go even further. He favors a regulation that would require any non-gun dealer selling a gun to go to a licensed gun store and go through a background check and make a sale there. [Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.]
This would have an impact on people selling guns at gun shows. Chisholm also favors establishing a permit system for people to carry concealed weapons.
Chisholm urged the legislature to come with more comprehensive reforms that would also allow for concealed carry permits in the state with stiff penalties for people who carry weapons without a permit.
-- Gil Halsted, WHA/WERN-Madison