Bipartisan bill calls for tough solutions to gun-related crime

In the private sector, it's not uncommon for establishments to take their time ramping up operations in the weeks after the end of the always tumultuous holiday season, as there is inventory to replenish, staffing levels to reassess and business goals to set.

There is no such option in the public sector, however, as the health and safety of the populace must always be protected and the objectives of good government met. As proof of this fact, you needn't look any further than the halls of the Wisconsin State Capitol, where lawmakers are already back in session and already introducing proposals, including one designed to target gun-related crime.

The measure, sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, would make it a felony offense for those who have been convicted of at least three misdemeanors within a five-year period to possess a firearm.

It would also make it a felony to serve as a "straw buyer" for firearms, meaning purchasing a firearm with the intention of handing it over to someone prohibited from legally possessing one.

Similarly, it would criminalize giving or holding onto a firearm for otherwise barred individuals, and making intentional misstatements on state notification forms about acting as a straw buyer.  

While the bill is designed to combat gun-related crime across the state, its sponsors have argued that it should be particularly effective here in Milwaukee, which saw a staggering 158 homicides in 2016, a number that could climb higher as police investigations conclude.

Both Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Edward Flynn have expressed support for the measure, stating that it will make the city safer by limiting the supply of firearms to the streets.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether this bill will gain the necessary legislative traction. If indeed it does end up passing and being signed into law by Governor Walker, it would change the legal landscape and increase the stakes for defendants considerably.

Stay tuned for updates …

Consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can protect your rights and your future if you are facing any type of weapons charge or are under investigation for a violent crime.

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