State Lawmakers Want To Turn Wisconsin Into ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a member of Wisconsin's Electoral College, cast his vote at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)
AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool via Getty Images

Wisconsin’s legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would declare the state a “Second Amendment sanctuary” in light of President Joe Biden’s moves to restrict gun rights.

The state Senate approved the bill Wednesday, sending it to Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ desk. The governor is expected to veto the legislation as he has previously argued for more restrictive gun laws.

“If signed into law and deemed constitutional, the legislation would prevent Wisconsin law enforcement officials from confiscating guns from those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, according to nonpartisan lawyers for the Legislature. That’s because there is no state law that corresponds with a federal law allowing guns to be taken from such offenders,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The Wisconsin legislature’s push for more Second Amendment protections comes as the leaders of several states have already declared their states to be “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared Texas’ commitment to protecting gun rights in April. Last week, nine members of Texas’ congressional delegation wrote to Abbott urging him to take action to protect Texans from several planned regulations the Biden administration is drafting to restrict gun rights.

“As you know, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) under President Biden is aggressively targeting gun owners, including our fellow Texans,” the lawmakers wrote. “Worst of all, the Biden Administration is carrying out these attacks on our Second Amendment rights through executive actions rather than legislatively, where it would be difficult or impossible to pass them. We write to offer our full support for any efforts you can take to ensure that President Biden’s destructive agenda does not infringe on Texans’ Second Amendment rights.”

“ATF’s proposed rule entitled Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver’ and Identification of Firearms would take a significant step toward a national gun registry by requiring Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers to permanently maintain personal gun owner information and records of firearm transfer information including makes, models, and serial numbers,” the letter continued. “This proposed rule would also expand the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to apply to gun parts—not just to the frame or receiver of a firearm — contradicting statute and the clear intent of Congress with its repeal of the Federal Firearms Act’s regulation of gun parts and enactment of the Gun Control Act to regulate a single firearm part.”

“Further, ATF’s latest Proposed Rule entitled Factoring Criteria for Firearms With Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces’ risks banning roughly 40 million pistols and AR15-style firearms by reversing over eight years of interpretive guidance and would do so without an act of Congress,” the letter said. “The ATF’s proposed rule would intentionally redefine these firearms to be short-barreled rifles, thus allowing the ATF to charge Americans with a federal felony by simply possessing them.”

A number of other governors have signaled that they plan to resist Biden administration efforts to unilaterally enact stricter gun control laws. Earlier this month, Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) promised to “fight tooth and nail” to protect gun rights.

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