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State Senate To Consider Bill Ending 48-Hour Waiting Period For Handgun Purchases

Legislation Supporters Say Technology Has Eliminated Need For Wait

Keary O. (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Wisconsin would end its 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases under a measure scheduled for debate in the full state Senate on Tuesday.

Right now, when someone purchases a handgun in Wisconsin, the gun seller has to contact the state Department of Justice to find out whether the gun buyer is prohibited from owning a firearm. Once DOJ officials check the buyer’s record, the dealer has to wait 48-hours before handing the gun over.

A bill up for a vote in the Senate would end that waiting period. Instead, dealers could transfer guns as soon as a buyer passes the background check.

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Advocates for the legislation say it ends what they call a “time tax,” saying technology has eliminated the need for a 48-hour wait. Critics say there’s nothing wrong with a cooling-off period.

Gov. Scott Walker already hinted to the National Rifle Association that he would sign the bill.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate will vote to confirm former Walker Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch to a post on Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission.