Felzkowski bill seeks to make Wisconsin Second Amendment sanctuary state
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
WISCONSIN – State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) on Thursday, April 8 announced that she and State Representative Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi) co-authored legislation seeking to make Wisconsin a Second Amendment sanctuary state, which would “(prevent) the federal government from infringing on the rights of legal gun owners across Wisconsin.”
According to a release from Felzkowski’s office, the bill would “prohibit the government from confiscating firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are legally owned and made in Wisconsin,” and “prohibit state public funds and state employees from assisting in the confiscation of legally owned, Second Amendment protected firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.”
“It’s been said time and again – our Second Amendment right to bear arms is the only thing protecting the American people from an overreaching government,” Felzkowski said in the release. “Our Constitution is set in stone. You don’t get to pick and choose which sections you adhere to and respect based off of a political agenda, and this bill makes that crystal clear.”
Felzkowski’s announcement of the legislation came after President Joe Biden issued six executive orders addressing gun violence.
Felzkowski called Biden’s signing of the orders “a blatant overreach and attack on our second amendment rights,” saying the orders are “aimed at stripping millions of legal gun owners across the country of their sacred, unalienable rights.”
Biden’s orders seek to more strictly regulate “ghost guns,” homemade firearms usually made from parts purchased online that don’t have serial numbers, and stabilizing braces, which improve the accuracy of pistols and make them more similar to rifles.
Biden also directed the Department of Justice to publish model “red flag” laws for states to use as frameworks. Red flag laws are state laws that allow courts to issue an order to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others. The orders are usually requested by police or family members.
Biden’s orders were issued in the wake of several mass shootings in the United States. On March 16, a 21-year-old man killed eight people at three massage parlors in Atlanta, Ga. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22. A nine-year-old boy was among four people killed in a shooting at a business complex in Orange, Calif., on March 31.
Second amendment sanctuary declarations are generally symbolic and not legally binding. Most declarations say public funds will not be used to enforce laws perceived to infringe on second amendment rights.
If Felzkowski’s bill is signed into law, Wisconsin would be among seven states to be declared second amendment sanctuaries.
Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts this week introduced a proclamation designating the state as a second amendment sanctuary, joining Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, and Wyoming, which have previously made similar declarations.
Roughly 400 local governments in 20 states had adopted second amendment sanctuary resolutions as of last year. Numerous Wisconsin counties, including Florence, Langlade, Oneida and Vilas, have passed similar measures.
An attempt to do so in Lincoln County failed last year.
District 13 Supervisor and current 35th Assembly District Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) during the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors’ Jan. 20, 2020 meeting introduced a resolution to make Lincoln County a second amendment sanctuary. The board voted 13 to 9 to send the resolution to the Administrative and Legislative Committee, and no further action was taken.
Callahan said after the meeting that “some supervisors failed the people of (Lincoln County).”
The City of Merrill Common Council on Jan. 14, 2020 voted 6 to 2 to declare the city a second amendment sanctuary. After the vote, Alderman Steve Sabatke said that although the resolution “has little legal power and is symbolic,” he believed Merrill was “taking a proactive step to prevent rampage shootings and gun violence.”
“We are really sending a message that we enjoy our hunting and shooting for sport and we embrace gun safety,” Sabatke stated. “It also sends a message that we proudly uphold our second amendment gun rights, which help protect us.”
The Tomahawk Leader has reached out to Governor Tony Evers’s office for comment.