Republicans Promise More Anti-Crime Efforts In Milwaukee, But Stop Short Of Gun Control

GOP Lawmakers Say They Will Vote For Expanding Gunfire Detection Technology

Republican leaders in the Legislature say they may hold votes on expanding the development of gunfire-detection technology in Milwaukee. Photo: Jeramey Jannene (CC-BY)

Republican legislators are promising more anti-crime efforts in Milwaukee, but are stopping short of gun control measures.

Assembly and Senate leaders say they will vote this month on expanding a police-operated gunfire detection system known as ShotSpotter. Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said she also favors banning “habitual criminals” from obtaining a concealed carry permit and making possession of guns by those not allowed to have them a felony.

Darling said she draws the line against trying to halt the flow of guns to Milwaukee.

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“The problem is criminals having guns and using them,” said Darling. “I think that this habitual criminal bill is much more on target, because you’re targeting people who are committing crimes with guns who are not supposed to have guns, and the consequences aren’t serious enough to deter that.”

Darling said she isn’t sure of the timetable for any adjustments to the state’s concealed carry law.

The Milwaukee Police Department says guns have been used to commit five homicides in the city so far this year, and Mayor Tom Barrett has repeatedly asked state and national Republicans for tougher gun laws.