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Republican leader open to more capitol security, expanding state gun laws

MADISON (WKOW) — State Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said he wants to expand security at the state capitol and is open to amending state law to take guns away from those who are a danger to themselves or others. 

Fitzgerald said he spoke to Gov. Tony Evers briefly over the phone and said he had concerns over Evers’ veto of a security study at the capitol. The Republican said it could be a “soft target” and called for additional security measures. 

He’s also open to expanding current state law (WI ACT 71) to allow sheriffs to confiscate guns from anyone who may be a danger to others.

“I think (that) already qualifies as red flag laws in Wisconsin, you could take a look at those statutes and if you wanted to include other types of charges, that that’s one thing that could be considered,” said Fitzgerald.

The senator is opposed to universal background checks and said Congress “has to play a role” because it’s difficult to approve on a state by state level.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders disagreed.

“I think we’ll have both a universal background check bill and red flag bill that should have bipartisan support, that respects second amendment rights to do our best to reduce the risk that’s out there,” said Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh).

Fitzgerald added he doesn’t have the answer on how to reduce mass shootings.

“I think if I did have the answer, or if any other legislator had a clear answer to this issue, we would have already implemented it and it would already be in place,” he said.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos plans to meet with the Governor Wednesday to discuss gun reform but said last week he hoped to find common ground on mental health which he called the “real problem.”

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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