‘Doing nothing’s not an option’: State legislators and gun control activists rally for change

State representatives and others from the Wisconsin Coalition for Gun Safety rallied on the steps of the Capitol Wednesday for new legislation that aims to prevent gun violence.

Family doctor Jeff Huebner said it’s gotten to the point of a crisis.

“There (are) many solutions that need to be implemented,” he said. “It’s not a one-stop solution, but doing nothing’s not an option.”

People are starting to trickle in to a rally for stricter gun laws at the capitol. They hope to tackle what they call a culture of gun violence in our country. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/BVTR2jdBH5

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) September 18, 2019

Legislators, including those at the rally, have a couple bills that have been introduced that they hope will address the problem, including one that would require universal background checks on firearm purchases. Another would eliminate sales tax on gun safes.

While those at the rally said they support the legislation, state leaders don’t all agree.

A spokesman for House Speaker Robin Vos pointed to a tweet of his, where he says he won’t entertain proposals to take away Second Amendment rights or due process, and instead said we should focus on mental health.

I will not entertain proposals to take away second amendment rights or due process.

Hopefully, we can find common ground on the real problem by addressing the mental health issues facing Wisconsin.

— Speaker Robin Vos (@SpeakerVos) August 6, 2019

Huebner said gun control is part of that.

“When I have a patient that’s depressed, I ask them if they own and have a gun, if they have access to a gun, and we talk about safe storage,” he said. “We talk about what are some of the options to make sure that you can stay safe, because it is the most lethal option.”

Right outside the protest, Tony Duncil and Thomas Leager showed off a gun law Wisconsin does have: open carry. They held loaded AR-15s while those attending the rally stopped to ask questions.

While state lawmakers & gun control advocates rallied on the Capitol steps, Tony Duncil and Thomas Leager showed off a gun law Wisconsin does have: open carry. Those are loaded AR-15s. They say they only want guns to protect themselves, their families and their rights. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/r1e9VeHhHU

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) September 19, 2019

Leager said people often think he is a redneck and that he only wants to get drunk and shoot his gun.

“That’s not what we are,” he said. “We want to protect human life. We want to protect everyone’s right to protect themselves with any gun that they feel fit.”

They said laws that restrict gun owners would only take away rights, and they see guns as a way to protect themselves and their families.

“I felt the same as everybody else out there when the Dayton shooting happened, and the El Paso shooting,” Leager said. “I didn’t want to ever see that happen to anybody else again. A mass shooting only lasts as long … as it takes for another person with a firearm to arrive.”

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.