MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats renewed calls Wednesday for the Republican-controlled Legislature to take up a pair of gun safety bills that were rejected without any debate just over two years ago.
The bills would institute a universal background check for gun sales and implement a “red flag” law that would allow judges to take guns away from people determined to be a threat. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is up for reelection in November, called a special session in 2019 to pass them, but Republicans ignored him.
There is a new call to pass the bills the day after an 18-year-old gunman killed at least 19 children and their two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Democratic state Sen. Melissa Agard, of Madison, launched a petition Wednesday calling on Republicans to take up the bills. Evers, in a statement, said he is ready to “work with any Republican who wants to find common ground.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos did not immediately return messages.
Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul said Republicans “need to be more concerned about parents than they are about the NRA. They need to be more worried about keeping kids safe than they are about keeping their political futures safe.”
Kaul, the parent of two young children, said “We need our legislators to get serious about these issues.”