MADISON – Today, Assembly Assistant Democratic Leader Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) joined the call from lawmakers and the Governor to act on the common sense gun safety measure of universal background checks.

“This legislation on universal background checks is a reasonable, responsible and moderate first step in addressing the overwhelming public health crisis of gun violence in our state and nation. According to a Marquette Law Poll, 81% of Wisconsinites and 78% of gun-owning households support background checks,” said Representative Hesselbein.

Currently, background checks are only required under federal law for sales conducted by federally licensed dealers. However, unlicensed sellers are not required to perform any kind of background check when selling a firearm. People who sell guns online, at gun shows, or pawn shops for example, can transfer firearms without having to run any background check. This loophole allows guns to be obtained by gun traffickers, criminals and other prohibited purchasers, dramatically increasing the likelihood of gun homicides and suicides.

“It is past time for my Republican colleagues to represent the will of the people. My community knows all too well the cost of inaction. Every single legislator should be asked if they are going to take action to finally pass universal background checks in Wisconsin,” Hesselbein concluded.

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