Senate committee hears testimony on gun sale bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Senate committee hears testimony on gun sale bill

By Teresa Mackin - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

MADISON (WKOW) -- A bill in the state legislature would change the requirements for all gun sales.

The issue brought dozens of passionate people to the state capitol Thursday afternoon to a senate committee hearing.

Senate Bill 643 would not only require background checks for all gun sales, even between friends and relatives, it would stop anyone with a violent misdemeanor charge from having a gun. The bill, introduced by Sens. Spencer Coggs of Milwaukee and Fred Risser of Madison, would extend gun regulations for violent non-felony offenders, such as those convicted of domestic abuse, child abuse, or harassment temporary restraining orders or injunctions.

Marna Winbush attended the hearing, telling senators it was nearly seven years ago when her twenty year old son, DeShaun, was shot and killed.

Winbush says, "Each time someone is killed, regardless of who they are, it affects you every time."

Marna believes requiring a background check for all gun sales could have saved her son.

Senator Spencer Coggs, (D) Milwaukee, is one of the authors of the bill. He says, "We believe people should lawfully own weapons, and lawfully use weapons. But if a person has committed a violent crime, they should not have their hands on a gun."

The bill also changes who can possess a firearm: to include violent misdemeanors.. like domestic abuse or child abuse.

Dan Ullrich, with the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, says, "This law will save a significant number of lives in a short period of time if domestic abusers are denied by local background checks, no matter who's selling the gun."

Opponents of the bill say requiring background checks for sales between friends is wrong.

Jeff Nass, president of the Wisconsin Firearm Owners, RAnges, Clubs and Educators, Inc, says, "Some people want to blame the gun as the problem. That's not the problem.. it's the people."

Jordan Austin represents the National Rifle Association. He says, "The ordinary citizen is burdened by not being able to dispose of personal property to someone they know is a good citizen... it's very invasive."

Winbush adds, "If we have a car, when we sell it to a relative, we register that car. What is more precious than a life."

The bill's authors say this was designed to cut out what they call a "gun-show loop-hole." Right now at gun shows, there is no requirement for background checks.

There is an exemption in the bill for sales to certain family members.

For more information click on the links to the left of this story.

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