MADISON, Wis.—On Tuesday evening, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson voted to block a bipartisan, common sense compromise that would reform our nation’s gun laws and save countless lives in the Badger State and across the country. The U.S. Senate is expected to take a final vote on the bipartisan compromise today.
Meghan Roh, Opportunity Wisconsin program director:
“Wisconsin has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, an average of 641 Wisconsinites die by guns each year. Despite this, and the Badger State’s overwhelming support for common sense reforms, Senator Johnson has indicated he opposed the recent bipartisan compromise to address the epidemic of gun violence.
“Senator Johnson has once again shown that his unwavering loyalty to powerful special interests is more important than his duty to represent the people of Wisconsin. We’re calling on Senator Johnson to join his Republican colleagues in voting for the final passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”
Senator Johnson’s vote comes the same week as a new Marquette Law School poll showed an overwhelming majority of Wisconsin residents support taking action on new gun policy:
Eighty-one percent support “red-flag laws,” which allow police to take guns away from people found by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others, while 13% oppose such laws. Support is unchanged since August 2019, when this question was last asked and 12% were opposed.
Mandatory background checks on people making gun purchases at gun shows or through private sales are supported by 79%, with 16% opposed. In August 2019, 80% supported such background checks and 16% were opposed.
A smaller majority, 56%, support raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, while 38% would keep the minimum age at 18. This is the first time this question has been asked in the Marquette Law School Poll.
Since early 2021, Opportunity Wisconsin has been working to hold Senator Johnson accountable to his constituents and to demand he vote for policies that support Wisconsin residents. In addition to holding conversations with Wisconsin workers and families across the Badger State, Opportunity Wisconsin has spent over $5 million in TV ads urging Senator Johnson to focus his work in Washington on addressing the economic needs of his constituents and to stop putting his personal profits over the people of Wisconsin.