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Gov. Evers unveils universal background check bill following nationwide mass shootings

Gov. Evers unveils universal background check bill following nationwide mass shootings

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Wisconsin Governor Veto

In this June 20 photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks at a Capitol news conference in Madison.

MADISON -- In response to twin massacres in Ohio and Texas, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Democrats Thursday introduced a bill that would expand background checks to most private gun sales in the state. 

The universal background check bill comes as Republicans have so far dismissed Evers' calls for any changes to the state's firearm laws, which gun-control advocates say could be strengthened to reduce gun violence. 

The proposed bill would require nearly all gun sales to be conducted through a federally licensed dealer, with few exceptions. Democrats say this would virtually eliminate the so-called loophole under current law allowing a person to circumvent the background check process through purchasing the gun through a private seller. 

"Gun violence has seemingly become a foregone conclusion," Evers said. "It's way past the time to get something done." 

 Absent from the bill is any provision that would implement so-called red-flag laws. Otherwise known as extreme risk protection orders, such laws give courts the authority to require people perceived as threats to surrender their firearms. 

Republicans so far have shown no interest in taking up universal background check or red flag legislation, citing concerns with due process and a vow to protect the Second Amendment. 


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