Rep. Brostoff: Universal background checks fail on party line in Wisconsin State Assembly

Contact: Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, (608) 266-0650

MADISON – Yesterday, February 20th, Wisconsin State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) joined fellow Assembly Democrats in forcing a vote on universal background checks for firearm sales on the Assembly floor.

Currently, background checks are only required under federal law for sales conducted by licensed dealers, allowing people who would not pass to make purchases at gun shows and through online sales. Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly voted on whether Wisconsin should require universal background checks for gun sales. 90% of Americans support this modest safety check, but Wisconsin’s Assembly Republicans refused to pass it.

Rep. Brostoff released the following statement after Wisconsin Assembly Republicans voted against this common-sense, live-saving measure:

“In light of the recent tragedy in Florida, and the hundreds of other tragedies that have happened over the years at the end of guns, it is ridiculous and unconscionable that my colleagues across the aisle refuse to legislate common sense,” Brostoff stated. “It is heartbreaking and appalling that this is a reality in American society. Our children are not safe at school. Our community members are not safe in public spaces. And Republicans collect money from the NRA – which collects money from gun manufacturers – to ignore the problem.”

In states that require universal background checks, there is an around 50% decrease in gun deaths for both women in abusive relationships and police officers in the line of duty. In the last 20 years, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has blocked more than 2.5 million attempted purchases.