Madison – In the wake of the shooting deaths of twelve people at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, Representative Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) called for a re-examination of Wisconsin’s gun laws.
“My heart goes out to the victims in Colorado, their families and friends, and all who anguish over this violent tragedy,” said Grigsby. “Guns make it easy for people who are mentally ill or just having a bad day to swiftly turn everyday events into bloodbaths.
Lax gun laws drive a U.S. murder rate that is almost seven times higher than the average murder rate of other high-income countries.”
“While it is too late for the 70 people who took bullets in suburban Denver, this massacre entreats us to revisit the dangerous path of sloppy gun policy that Wisconsin has recently gone down,” said Grigsby.
Until last year, the concealed carrying of dangerous weapons in public had been prohibited in Wisconsin since 1872.
In the summer of 2011, Wisconsin passed concealed carry (Wisconsin Act 35).
This new law allows people to carry guns in many public places, including bars and taverns, and to keep guns in cars parked in school, airport, courthouse, prison, and mental health treatment facility parking lots.
Under this new concealed carry regime, 39,644 concealed carry licenses were issued in November and December of last year alone, and by April of this year 100,000 licenses had been issued.
Applications for concealed carry licenses continue to pour in. “What this means is that thousands of more guns are out there, as a part of our daily lives.” said Grigsby. “They are in our public places-places where we work, learn, socialize, and worship.
And, yes, you can bet they are in our movie theatres.”
“Our standards for legal gun ownership and for concealed carry are deeply flawed,” said Grigsby. “Let’s not wait for the next massacre to talk about gun policy in Wisconsin.”