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Fitzgerald: No State Senate Hearings Or Debate On Evers’ Gun Proposals

Senate Majority Leader Says 'The Support's Not There' For Governor's Proposals On Guns

Scott Fitzgerald speaking to reporters
Scott Fitzgerald speaking to reporters on Dec. 20, 2018. Laurel White/WPR

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he won’t hold hearings or debate a pair of gun control bills Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called a special session to consider.

Fitzgerald, a Republican, told reporters Tuesday that “the support’s not there to tackle these two issues.”

Evers on Monday called a special session for the Legislature to take up two measures on guns. One would expand background checks for more types of gun purchases. The other is a “red flag” proposal, which would allow judges to take guns away from people determined to be risk to themselves or others.

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Fitzgerald said his intention is to convene the special session and then immediately adjourn it without taking action.

Evers and Democrats point to polls showing 80 percent support for the ideas as a reason to vote on them.

But Fitzgerald said Evers is “playing politics” with the issue.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a statement saying a special session will not change his or his Republican colleagues’ minds on protecting Second Amendment rights.

Speaking to WISN’s Dan O’Donnell, Vos said that the governor should be focusing on areas of bipartisan consensus.

“The vast majority of people who are killed with a firearm do it through suicides or accidents,” Vos said. “You obviously can’t prevent accidents, but you can certainly prevent suicide and that’s why that’s what we’ve chosen to focus on. How about if we sit down and work on that together?”

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, said on WPR’s “The Morning Show” Tuesday that GOP lawmakers would continue to look at proposals related to mental health.

He said he was planning to announce a bill in the coming weeks “that will develop a pilot program to deliver mental health care access directly in to the schools in a way that we haven’t done before, so that schools can get the help that they need when dealing with these kids that are presenting with mental health issues early on in life.”

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