Gov. Scott Walker will be asked on Friday to support tougher penalties for criminals found carrying a gun, a request that comes amid more gun violence this week in Milwaukee that has left two people dead.
In addition to the deaths, several others have been wounded. One of the injured is a two year-old boy hit by a bullet that entered his family's home during a gun battle in a nearby alley.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Ed Flynn held a news conference near the child's house on Thursday to urge city residents to report illegal guns. Flynn also called on Walker and state lawmakers to make it a felony, not just a misdemeanor, for criminals and others banned from carrying guns to have one. He also demanded a halt to the granting of firearms permits to habitual criminals.
“Right now, understandably, legislators don’t want to touch gun laws because then it’s a visit to crazy-town, and they’re worried about that,” said Flynn. “Because the pressure from those people who don’t believe in any regulation of firearms, can be intense and well-financed.”
If walker and pro-gun lawmakers would agree to the stiffer penalties, that could send more people to jail. Mayor Barrett says he understands that.
“I abhor the fact that we have high incarceration rates,” said Barrett. “But I abhor even more the violence that we have in this city. I want to reduce both.”
Walker's press office says the governor is willing to work with law enforcement and other interested parties to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. Walker is expected to be asked to elaborate during a bill signing Friday morning in Milwaukee.