Wisconsin Senate passes bill to scrap 48-hour wait for handgun purchases

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Gun violence has filled the news in the past few months. Now, Wisconsin could be getting rid of the wait to purchase and take home a handgun. 

Right now shoppers have to wait 48 hours, after a background check is started, to take a handgun home from the store. 

Today the State Senate voted to eliminate the wait. 

“Background checks are done in a matter of minutes” says Dale Raby, Store Manager at Gus’s Guns.  

That is why Wisconsin Senator Van Wanggaard, a Republican from Racine, says once a background check is finished, the 48 hour wait is no longer needed. 

“We are punishing people who can lawfully posses a fire arm” Sen. Wanggaard says. 

But, the store manager at Gus’s Guns in Green Bay says the 48 hour wait has nothing to do with background checks. 

“It is a cooling off period in case you are planning to murder somebody” Raby says. 

That being said, he says the time-out is not needed. “It never really applied to anything because murders do not go to the gun shop and buy a gun when they want to murder somebody. They use whatever they’ve got because it is not a rational choice”. 

A number of lawmakers disagree. 

According to Green Bay Senator Dave Hansen (D) “We do not know how many cases of harm death or suicide was prevented by the waiting period because these cases do not get reported”. 

Telling the story of one constituent, Hansen says people in our community are worried. “A relative was having mental health issues and tried to purchase a gun. Thanks to the waiting period that family was able to get the family member help before she was able to get a gun a harm their mother”. 

Supporters of the plan to eliminate the 48 hour wait say it cuts down on drive time, and cost, for law abiding citizens. 

“It would make things a little easier i guess” Raby says. 

Now the state assembly will have its turn to debate this proposal. 

It would need final approval from Governor Scott Walker. He has publicly supported the bill.  

Wisconsin is one of eight states currently with a waiting period. 

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