Wisconsin Senate Passes ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ Bill

Wisconsin Senate Passes 'Second Amendment Sanctuary' Bill wisconsin state capitol building (KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 24 June 2021 11:05 AM

Wisconsin's Senate this week passed a piece of legislation that supporters say would make the state a "Second Amendment sanctuary" and exempt the state from federal firearms laws, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Assembly Bill 293 would protect Wisconsin firearm owners from federal gun laws and would require the state's firearm manufacturers to include a "Made in Wisconsin" stamp on their products. Guns owned in Wisconsin that do not leave the state would not be subject to federal regulation, and a person in the state would be prohibited from "enforcing a federal act, law, statute, rule, regulation, treaty, or order" banning semi-automatic weapons, requiring that people register their guns, or restricts the capacity of magazines.

"Passing this bill is going to be protecting the Second Amendment rights of the people who live in these state's borders," said Rep. Tyler August, a Republican representing Lake Geneva.

GOP Rep. Dave Murphy of Greenville added that President Joe Biden's administration is "scaring us and making us feel like our Second Amendment rights are not going to be upheld."

However, Democrat Rep. Tip McGuire of Kenosha said that the bill is inferior to the Second Amendment, and added that it "in fact undermines the Constitution that we all swore an oath to uphold."

He also said that nonpartisan analysis from the Legislature's legal staff, which was provided to McGuire, shows that the bill would also keep law enforcement officials in the state from confiscating guns from people who are convicted on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence because Wisconsin doesn't have such a law to match the federal one that does allow officers to confiscate guns from these offenders.

Although the Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill, Democrat Gov. Tony Evers is noted by the newspaper to be unlikely to sign the legislation. The Journal Sentinel also reports that similar measures to the gun bill in the past have been struck down as unconstitutional attempts to override federal law with state law.

Arkansas' legislature in April passed a similar bill that attempted to prevent local or state law enforcement or public officials from cooperating with federal officers or agencies "in the enforcement of any federal statute, executive order, or federal agency directive that conflicts with the Arkansas Constitution," according to the text of the bill.

However, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, noted at the time that the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause means that federal law overrides state law when there is a conflict, according to KATV in Little Rock.