MADISON, Wis. -

Democrats are criticizing a Republican proposal that would allow bow hunting near schools or hospitals.

A bill by Rep. Joel Kleefisch has the backing of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. State law currently prohibits any type of hunting within 1,700 feet of a school or hospital grounds.

WKOW-TV says Kleefisch's bill would prohibit firearms, but not a bow and arrow or a crossbow, to hunt near schools or hospitals. An aide to Kleefisch recently told an Assembly committee that non-hunting properties have become places of refuge for deer, which cause accidents and property damage.

Democratic Rep. Gary Hebl says that in light of recent shootings, including Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., his constituents might question his sanity if he were to support such a proposal.