Here we go again. To distract from their lack of action on the real problems facing our state, some in the legislature are working hard to change the subject, pushing a series of gun bills, which will only make our communities less safe.

AB-498 would lower the minimum age to be eligible for a license to carry a concealed weapon from 21 to 18. AB-495 would allow for the possession of a firearm in a vehicle on school grounds. AB-597 would allow for the possession of a firearm by a licensee in a place of worship located on the grounds of a private school. AB-518 broadens the reciprocity for out-of-state licenses to carry a concealed weapon.

I am strongly opposed to this legislature's effort to allow teenagers to obtain concealed carry permits, and to allow firearms on school grounds. I find it remarkable that some in the legislature think it is a good idea to have more guns in and around our schools, not less.

It’s important to note that the pandemic has fueled gun related crimes nationwide, highlighting the danger of having weak gun laws that enable firearms to fall into the wrong hands.

According to the experts at Everytown, our state has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. This stark reality, combined with the fact that more than 640 Wisconsinites die in an average year from gun violence shows that our communities deserve more from our elected officials.

Over the past three years, the Wisconsin legislature has failed to pass a single piece of gun safety legislation, despite the introduction of multiple gun violence prevention bills each session. Instead, they’ve focused on advancing dangerous bills that will only worsen our state’s gun violence problem.

Here in Wisconsin, the NRA worked with state legislators to preempt cities from taking measures to get guns off the streets back in 1995 and the NRA is the primary backer of these bills in the Assembly today. The Cities of Madison and Milwaukee strongly oppose these measures along with state and local public health associations and boards, advocates for ending domestic violence and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin which has seen to many children injured or killed by guns.

My opposition to this reckless package of bills will likely surprise no one, and, sadly, this legislature's misplaced priorities do not surprise me.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.