Wisconsin Assembly passes bill blocking federal gun laws

NOW: Wisconsin Assembly passes bill blocking federal gun laws

Posted: 8:37 p.m. on June 9, 2021

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill blocking law enforcement from enforcing federal gun laws in the state.

Gun advocates are pleased with the bill, calling federal gun laws confusing and redundant.

They also believe the Second Amendment is absolute.

But gun safety advocates said the bill is dangerous.

"It's a really good thing, it's a positive step, it shows that there are politicians at least at the state level that are interested in the gun rights battle," said Brew City Shooting Supply Instructor Adam Campbell.

Campbell could talk all day about the federal firearms laws he thinks are unnecessarily complex and redundant. He's passionate about guns and said lawmakers only ever make more gun laws.

"It's very rare, very, very rare, for rules to be rolled back," said Campbell.

Wisconsin Republicans said they're protecting gun owners' Second Amendment rights, but Democrats argue the bill leaves police in the lurch.

The senior lawyer for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence agrees.

"A law enforcement officer may feel that they cannot take a gun from a felon in possession of a firearm for fear they may be criminally prosecuted for doing their job," said Senior Counsel Allison Anderman.

Wisconsin's bill makes it a misdemeanor for someone to enforce federal gun law unless the state has a matching one. But Anderman said Wisconsin's bill is bad policy and unconstitutional.

"It encourages people in a state to wrongly assume that they will not be prosecuted under federal law for gun crime," said Anderman.

If the Wisconsin Senate passes the bill, it's unlikely Governor Tony Evers would sign it.

Similar laws have been struck down by federal judges for violating the Constitution's supremacy clause, which says federal law trumps state law.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Future federal laws that would ban or restrict the use of guns could not be enforced in Wisconsin under a Republican-backed bill up for Assembly approval.

The bill up for a vote Wednesday is part of a national wave of similar proposals intended to resist new gun control measures. The bills in Wisconsin and other states are a reaction from Republicans to a push from President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress to tighten gun control laws.

Many previous GOP state efforts to thwart gun laws have been found unconstitutional. The Wisconsin bill would also likely be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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