One Wisconsin Now: National Rifle Association Goes to Court in Wisconsin and Florida

Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Gun Lobby Endorses Michael Screnock in Wisconsin and Sues Florida Over Bipartisan Bill Passed After Parkland High School Mass Shooting

MADISON, Wis. — The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing the state of Florida over gun safety legislation adopted after the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In Wisconsin, the NRA is trying to elect Michael Screnock to the state high court, telling their members he has “vowed” to protect their agenda. Screnock has publicly welcomed the support of outside special interest groups for his campaign, while also refusing to commit to removing himself from cases involving special interest backers like the gun lobby.

“The NRA is targeting our state Supreme Court, spending their money to try to elect the candidate they say ‘vowed’ to protect their agenda,“ said One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “And Michael Screnock isn’t just welcoming the support of the gun lobby and other special interests, he’s saying he could sit on cases that involve them.”

After the tragic mass shooting in February, the Florida legislature passed a bipartisan bill including measures implementing a three day waiting period to buy guns, banning bump stocks, raising the minimum age for buying a gun to 21 and allowing law enforcement to ask courts to give them authority to keep people considered to be dangerous of possessing guns and ammunition. On the same day the bill was signed in to law by the state’s GOP governor, the NRA sued in court to try to block its enforcement.

Before the primary election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the NRA sent a mailing touting their support of Michael Screnock. In it they indicated that had “vowed to protect” firearms and “committed” to their agenda.

In addition the Republican Party of Wisconsin, the big corporate lobby the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the right wing dark money organization the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform spent over $800,000 in contributions to Screnock’s campaign and a media blitz including television, radio and digital advertising.

Despite benefitting from what will certainly run into millions of dollars in special interest spending to benefit his campaign, Michael Screnock has said he doesn’t believe he should have to excuse himself from cases involving his big campaign donors.

Beilman-Dulin concluded, “Michael Screnock has made it clear he’s fine being a weapon for the NRA as they fight against common sense gun laws.”