Felzkowski-authored Second Amendment sanctuary bill heads to Evers’ desk

Legislation would exempt Wisconsin-owned firearms from federal regulation


By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

MADISON – A bill authored by State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) that seeks to make Wisconsin a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State” was passed by the Wisconsin State Senate on Wednesday, June 23 and will head to Governor Tony Evers’ desk.

State Senator Mary Felzkowski

The legislation was passed by the State Assembly on June 9.

If the bill is signed into law, gun manufacturers in Wisconsin would be required to include a stamp on the firearms that reads “Made in Wisconsin” or a similar stamp.

Firearms that are owned in Wisconsin and do not leave the state would not be subject to federal regulations or laws. If a person incorporates a firearm component from another state into a firearm manufactured in Wisconsin, the incorporation would not subject the firearm to federal regulation under the interstate commerce clause, according to the bill.

Under the legislation, it would be illegal to enforce “a federal act, law, statute, rule, regulation, treaty, or order that takes effect on or after Jan. 1, 2021, if it bans or restricts semi-automatic firearms, assault weapons, or magazines; requires registration of firearms, magazines, or other firearm accessories; regulates the capacity of magazines; regulates the quantity of ammunition or bullets an individual may possess; prohibits types of ammunition or bullets; or requires the confiscation of a firearm.”

“The bill creates some exceptions, including allowing for the enforcement of such a federal law if it is identical to a state law,” the bill states. “A person who violates the prohibition is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

The legislation would also prohibit state agencies, state government bodies and local governmental units from “expending moneys or using other resources to confiscate a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is lawfully possessed under the laws of Wisconsin.”

“As we approach the 245th birthday of the United States of America, there is no better time to look back and reflect on who we are and how we got here,” Felzkowski said in a statement from Wednesday, June 23. “We are the greatest country in the world, with freedoms for every man and woman enshrined in our Constitution. Only after raising an army to defeat an unacceptable oppressor were we as a nation able to establish protections to make sure we never find ourselves in that situation again. Given our country’s history, it is sheer lunacy that people in Washington D.C. openly discuss stripping the rights of legal gun owners throughout our country.”

Felzkowski went on to say that it is “beyond time for states to take back our rights.”

“Article I, Section 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution gives us ‘the right to bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.’ It is imperative that law-abiding Wisconsin gun owners on both sides of the aisle know that their 2nd Amendment rights will not be infringed upon by a radical government in Washington D.C.”

Roughly 1,200 local governments have passed second amendment sanctuary laws. The declarations are generally symbolic and not legally binding, and most say public funds will not be used to enforce laws perceived to infringe on second amendment rights.

Numerous Wisconsin counties, including Florence, Langlade, Oneida and Vilas, have passed second amendment measures. An attempt by District 13 Supervisor and current 35th Assembly District Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) to do so in Lincoln County was rejected at the county board level last year.

The City of Merrill Common Council in Jan. 2020 voted to declare the city a second amendment sanctuary.

Evers, who has called for stricter gun regulations in the past, was anticipated to veto Felzkowski’s bill.

The Tomahawk Leader has reached out to the governor’s office for comment on the legislation.

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