UPDATED 12:45 PM PT — Friday, November 8, 2019
Wisconsin’s Republican controlled government has shut down Governor Tony Evers’ attempt to introduce two gun control bills. Thursday reports said the heads of both the state’s Assembly and Senate adjourned a special session without ever bringing the bills to a vote.
Evers called for the special session last month and asked the legislature to take the bills up after being unwilling to debate them. One bill sought to impose a universal background check on gun sales. The other would establish a so-called ‘red flag law,’ which would allow firearms to be confiscated if a judge deemed there to be a danger to the owner or others.
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he opposed a law that would allow for confiscation of weapons under suspicion of a threat.
“We could focus on locking up the people who already fail an existing background check — we don’t prosecute them,” stated Vos. “There are a lot of things we could focus on that would bring us together instead of just driving us apart.”
It's unfortunate that my Democratic colleagues would rather focus on politics than policy and progress. It was my hope that we could find common ground on addressing the mental health issues facing Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/TutdyiOLo9
— Speaker Robin Vos (@SpeakerVos) November 7, 2019
The state Senate opened its special session to an empty chamber and adjourned after 30 seconds. The Assembly adjourned even faster, closing the session after only 10 seconds.
Evers previously said he would consider requiring gun owners to sell off some of their weapons. This follows the efforts of now-former Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who advocated for confiscating legally owned weapons.
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said it made no sense to debate bills that wouldn’t pass without Republican support.
“There are many other things that play into that, including mental illness,” stated Fitzgerald. “We could come up with (another) a solution to the issues related to gun violence or these mass shootings.”
Both Wisconsin lawmakers released a joint statement in September, saying the red flag law “poses threats to due process and the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.” They added the governor’s consideration of confiscating legally owned firearms “shows just how radical Democrats have become.”
Governor Evers has since lashed back at the Republican lawmakers, claiming their dismissal of the bill was a mistake they will pay for “at their own peril.”
And they did so at their own peril because now Republicans have to go back to their districts and explain to their constituents why they refused to even do their jobs today.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) November 8, 2019