Senators Alberta Darling (RRiver Hills) and LaTonya Johnson (DMilwaukee) and Representatives Joe Sanfelippo (RNew Berlin) and David Bowen (DMilwaukee) are introducing a bipartisan bill to help curb gun crimes in the city. Darling says the bill will help take guns out of the hands of criminals who aren’t allowed to have them in the first place.
“This bill gives prosecutors more opportunities to take criminals off the street,” Darling said, “We’ve worked together with local officials for months to find a bipartisan solution that will make Milwaukee safer.”
Senator Darling’s bill will:
Prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor on three separate occasions within five years. The criminal penalty would be a Class G felony. (fines up to $25,000, up to 10 years in prison or both)
Prohibit an individual from buying a firearm intending to give it to a person who is banned from possessing a firearm. The criminal penalty would be a Class G felony.
Prohibit an individual from giving or possessing a firearm for someone who is banned from possessing a firearm. The criminal penalty would be a Class G felony.
Add a question to the state notification form about straw purchasers. Lying about being a straw purchaser on the state form would be a Class H felony. (fines up to $10,000, imprisonment up to 6 years or both)
At first glance, I like all of these measures. I’d like to see some more details on the first one. For example, if someone is convicted of three misdemeanors for non-violent crimes, multiple non-violent crimes from the same incident (like a car accident), etc., the the bar is not high enough to deny someone their civil right to own a firearm. But if it’s three violent misdemeanor crimes, drug trafficking, etc., then I’m all for it.
Of course, none of this matters if the DA and judges don’t enforce the laws. One of the biggest problems right now is that the DAs routinely bargain down or away gun charges and judges routinely give light sentences for gun crimes that make it into their courtrooms.