Wisconsin Bags Hazardous Wait

by
posted on June 15, 2015
wisconsin-bags-hazardous-wait.jpg

Waiting periods on firearms don’t work, period. They are not associated with a decrease in homicide rates, and they expose vulnerable individuals—such as abused women and residents of neighborhoods plagued by gang violence—to unjustifiable risk. Laws enforcing waiting periods are largely relics of the past, illustrations of that saying that insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Fortunately, the state of Wisconsin has seen the light. Last week the state legislature approved Senate Bill 35, which will eliminate the 48-hour “cooling off” period required for the purchase of a handgun. The waiting period originated primarily as an attempt to leave sufficient time for a background check before a firearm made its way into the hands of its owner. No one would be able to argue that this justification holds water today, as instant background checks have been the norm for years.Contrary to what SB 35’s strident opponents would have you believe, there is no substantive scientific debate at this juncture: Waiting periods for firearms simply do not prevent homicides.

Opponents of the bill raised alarms about the risks of abolishing waiting periods—the only piece of gun legislation that actually worked to reduce crime, they said! While we can appreciate the implied verdict on other gun-control measures, it is bizarre in 2015 to claim with a straight face that waiting periods are effective. For all of the anti-gunner hand-wringing about the supposed gag on firearm policy research—meaning only a lack of federal funding for the biased studies produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—this subject has been thoroughly researched in the past 20 years.

Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard, SB 35’s primary sponsor in the Wisconsin Senate, countered that there is no statistical proof of waiting periods driving down homicide or violent crime rates, and a piece from fact-checking service Politifact confirmed—perhaps a bit grudgingly?—that he was correct. The studies cited in this verdict range from a 2000 examination of the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994, all the way to a sweeping meta-analysis of gun-control policy from 2012. Even the CDC couldn’t claim that waiting periods provided any check on violent crime!

Contrary to what SB 35’s strident opponents would have you believe, there is no substantive scientific debate at this juncture: Waiting periods for firearms simply do not prevent homicides. What they do is to make it inconvenient to buy a gun—where anti-gun politicians can’t outright disarm you, they try to throw up as many obstacles as possible in the hopes that you’ll eventually run out of time, money or commitment. By doing away with this outdated and pointless law, Wisconsin legislators have done their constituents a great, if overdue, service.

SB 35 was approved by the Wisconsin Senate on a vote of 22-11 and by the Assembly in a voice vote without debate. It will soon be on the desk of Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it into law. Many thanks to the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Van Wanggaard and Rep. Romaine Quinn, and the legislature as a whole for freeing Wisconsin residents from this unreasonable restriction.

Latest

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Confiscation in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's authoritarian zeal to disarm his citizens is a warning to any free people–and it shows how fundamentally important our constitutional protections are.

America's Rifle

Gun-control activists and politicians don't want citizens to know the truth about these semi-automatic rifles. So here is the history, and the contemporary facts, about these rifles.

The New Balance of Power

Almost as soon as the voting was over, President Biden once again said that he wants to sign a ban on pretty much every firearm sold in the U.S. Though he likely doesn't have the votes to do so in this Congress, this balance of power does give him some opportunities to go after our freedom.

The Story Behind the Sale of Barrett Firearms

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Barrett story,” says Ronnie Barrett.

Why the Legal Fight in Illinois Matters So Much

When a governor, along with a majority of a state’s legislators, decide to take a civil right from American citizens, they have decided to start a constitutional fight.

The Armed Citizen® January 27, 2023

True stories of the right to keep and bear arms.

Interests



Get the best of America's 1st Freedom delivered to your inbox.