Contact(s): Rep. Sargent
Madison, Wisconsin — State Representatives Chris Taylor (D-Madison), Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), Terese Berceau (D-Madison), and Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), along with 39 Democrats in the Wisconsin State Legislature, announced a bill that would ban bump-fire stocks, or “bump stocks,” in Wisconsin, devices that were affixed to firearms found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room. Despite Democrats delaying official introduction for two weeks while negotiating with Republicans in good faith in hopes of having bipartisan support, Republicans refused to support the bill, and LRB-4465 was submitted for official introduction without a single Republican cosponsor.
“We waited and waited and waited for Republicans to be able to come to a consensus long enough to support this bill, but we simply couldn’t wait any longer. It’s just disappointing,” said Taylor. “Wisconsinites want reasonable, common sense gun laws, and LRB-4465 was the perfect opportunity for the Legislature to demonstrate we can set aside politics to do the right thing. Republicans just weren’t interested.”
After the bill was officially submitted for introduction late last week, reports surfaced that Republicans are now considering introducing their own, weakened version of our bump stock bill. Among the possible changes in the Republican version could be a provision to “grandfather in” people who already possess bump fire stocks, allowing bump stocks to remain in the possession of persons who might want to use them nefariously.
“What’s the virtue of having a ban when there are a handful of people who get to keep them in their possession?” Sargent questioned. “Democrats have been open to hearing Republicans’ thoughts and suggestions to improve our bill so we could earn their support, but after nearly a month of waiting, they never brought any suggestions to our attention. That alone indicates Republicans would rather play politics than do anything with bipartisan support, and that’s a shame.”
LRB-4465 bill was introduced on October 5, 2017 after Republican leadership in the Assembly, conservative leaders like Charlie Sykes, Senator Ron Johnson, and even the NRA voiced support for further regulation. The bill would prohibit the possession, use, and sale of bump-fire stocks or “bump stocks,” which are used to modify the firearms to effectively fire automatically or in rapid succession. Semi-automatic weapons ordinarily require a trigger to be pulled manually to fire each round, but they can be modified by attaching a bump stock to the receiver, which uses the recoil to propel the weapon backward and bounce it forward, ‘bumping’ the trigger into the unmoving trigger finger, thereby allowing the weapon to simulate automatic firing. LRB-4465 also provides a six-month period for persons currently possessing of bump stocks to get rid of them without penalty.
“Our bump stock ban bill is reasonable, it is common sense, and it should have received bipartisan support. Republicans’ only excuse for not supporting LRB-4465 is that Democrats introduced it, and that’s exactly the kind of tired partisan politics that Wisconsinites are sick of. Republicans can introduce their own watered-down version of our bill, but the press and the public need to remember they had every opportunity to work with Democrats to do it the right way the first time, and they chose not to,” Berceau concluded.