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Foolish Pre-Emptive Surrender on Display in NRA-Backed Bill

Maybe the Republican gang pushing to expand penalties should read this book, first.

WGO has registered its opposition to AB58/SB106, a bill in the Wisconsin legislature that would expand gun control in the name of being ‘tough on crime.’

Instead of supporting a WGO-backed proposal to improve Wisconsin’s concealed weapons law by introducing Constitutional Carry, Badger State Republicans and the institutional gun lobby are busy fashioning the chains that bind us.

Assembly Bill 58 and companion Senate Bill 106 would create a minimum five-year prison sentence for a felon convicted of possessing a firearm while prohibited.

“A person who violates the prohibition is guilty of a Class G felony, which is punishable by a maximum term of confinement in prison of five years followed by a maximum term of extended supervision of five years. Current law has no mandatory minimum term of confinement in prison for this crime,” according to the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) analysis.

While the intent may be to present a ‘tough on crime’ front with a proposal aimed at violent felons, the reality is that in today’s runaway Police State, many Americans inadvertently commit felonies, and the Private Prison-for-Profit Industrial Complex is eager to disarm and imprison them quickly — in fact, the U.S. leads the world in imprisonment rates.

Wisconsin Representative Tom Michalski (R-13) is among the group of Republican backers of the bill, which purports to get tough on gun crime (where have we heard that from before?).

As WGO pointed out, the road to hell is paved by good intentions.

“… [F]ederal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague,” writes Harvey A. Silvergate in his book Three Felonies a Day. “[He] … reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior. The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets.”

There was a public hearing on AB58 on February 28, introduced by Representatives Michalski, Duchow, Allen, Armstrong, Behnke, Dittrich, Donovan, Gundrum, Maxey, Murphy, O’Connor and Rettinger — all Republicans.

Republican State Senators cosponsoring it include James, Feyen, Nass, Stroebel, and Wanggaard.

WGO notes that politicians like to play the pre-emptive concession bait-and-switch game, in which they believe (falsely) that offering so-called “tough on crime” gun control bills will appease gun banners.

However, like most gun control, schemes such as this only back gun owners further into the corner long term, keeping the wrongly accused disarmed longer while criminals continue to skirt the rules.


Instead of spending their time expanding gun control laws to appease the gun control lobby, urge the Wisconsin Republican Caucus to work with WGO to introduce our “Freedom to Carry Act,” or Constitutional Carry. CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION

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