MADISON – Today, Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at curbing gun violence in Wisconsin. Joined by Attorney General Josh Kaul, Senators LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) and Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Representatives Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) and Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison), and community advocates, they introduced legislation creating Extreme Risk Protection Orders and requiring Universal Background Checks on all gun sales and transfers.
Senator Agard released the following statement regarding the legislation:
“Everyone deserves to live in a safe community and without the fear of gun violence. However, this is not a reality for too many people across our country and in our own state. We cannot continue to accept the gun violence that plagues our society. I am proud to introduce common sense legislation to close the background check loophole and establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Gun violence is a public health crisis and it is long past time our state government stepped up and addressed this issue.
“Not only is this a public health issue, but a fiscal issue. The cost of gun violence is an economic burden – costing the United States over $229 billion annually. In Wisconsin, a homicide can cost between 1 and 2 million in taxpayer dollars. This should be one of the top priorities of our legislature. Continued inaction is complicity. The time is now to take action to keep Wisconsinites safe.
“These bills are not new ideas – they are ideas that are proven to address gun violence but also ideas that are supported by Wisconsinites. 80% of Wisconsinites support both of these policies, including 78% of gun owners.
“Gun violence is an epidemic in our country. The legislature cannot continue to ignore this issue while our friends, neighbors, and communities are suffering and there are common sense solutions in front of us. We must listen to the voices of the people of Wisconsin, and take tangible steps to reduce gun violence. We just have to have the bravery to do so.”