Democratic lawmakers are calling on Republicans to act on a bill requiring universal background checks for all gun sales in Wisconsin.
Current law requires only background checks for gun buyers from federally licensed dealers. The bill would require background checks would apply to all sales, including gun sales made online and at gun shows.
Democratic Sen. Nikiya Harris, of Milwaukee, said Thursday that an 18 percent increase in Milwaukee's homicide rate is one reason to close what she called loopholes in the public safety system. Harris said without universal background checks the state's current laws preventing felons from possessing guns are meaningless.
“It is time to close that loophole and take guns out of the hands of criminals,” Harris said. “It is time that the over 80 percent who support background checks are heard on this important piece of legislation.”
Legislators stood behind boxes of 16,500 signatures from Wisconsin residents who support universal background checks. Republicans have not scheduled the bill for a hearing.