State Rep. Deb Andraca, D-Whitefish Bay, is rebuffing calls for teachers to be armed after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.

“I don’t think guns belong in schools,” Andraca said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with “I was a substitute teacher. I’m also a gun owner. I have my concealed carry license, and I don’t know any teachers who think this is a good idea. All this talk of arming schools and fortifying schools, it really distracts from the real problem, which is easy access to guns.”

Andraca is echoing calls by Gov. Tony Evers to expand background checks and pass a red flag law.

Meanwhile, the president of Wisconsin Carry Inc. says allowing teachers to be armed is a proposal the Republican-controlled Legislature should immediately take up.

“If we want to have a balanced conversation, let’s talk about arming teachers,” said Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry Inc. “If teachers refuse to be armed, I think the teachers are standing in the way of a solution.”

Clark said his organization opposes any attempt to expand background checks or pass a red flag law.

“It’s the same call for the same gun control, which wouldn’t have worked in any of these circumstances,” Clark said.

In another segment, Michelle Viste, the director of crime victim services at the Department of Justice, discusses the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s new portal announced this past week to track the status of sexual assault kits, the result of bipartisan legislation in the state Legislature.

“It provides accountability for the system that something is happening with the kit and it’s not accumulating on the shelf,” Viste said.

In 2019 Attorney General Josh Kaul, who is seeking reelection this fall, announced the department had cleared a backlog of more than 4,100 untested kits that dated back to as far as 1984.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything we can in these cases to get justice for survivors and to make sure someone who has committed a dangerous violent crime is held accountable,” Kaul said.

Also on the program, retiring State Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, discussed a new venture to honor fallen service men and women.

Kooyenga, an Iraq war veteran, and his business partner Craig Du Mez created Hero Cards, a subscription program of collector cards with the stories and pictures of war heroes.

“I want Americans to see, especially younger generations, I want them to see the faces, the names, the stories of these remarkable people,” Kooyega said.

The co-founders are continuing to collect stories and pictures and are offering a monthly subscription to receive a new set of cards each month. Kooyenga said the profits will be shared with nonprofits that assist veterans.

Adrienne Pedersen signed off from the show Sunday in her last broadcast hosting the show.

Pedersen is pursuing a new opportunity outside of TV news.

“It’s been a challenge and an honor to have a platform like this with important in-depth conversations,” Pedersen said at the end of the broadcast. “I know you’ll be in good hands with our hardworking, talented team.”

See more from the show here.

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