Evers vetoes Felzkowski-authored Second Amendment sanctuary bill
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
MADISON – Governor Tony Evers on Friday, July 9 vetoed Assembly Bill 293, which would have made Wisconsin a “Second Amendment sanctuary state” if it had been signed into law.
State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) was among the authors of the legislation, which had passed the State Senate with a 29 to 1 vote and the State Assembly with a 61 to 36 vote.
Under the bill, gun manufacturers in Wisconsin would have been required to include a stamp on the firearms that read “Made in Wisconsin” or a similar stamp.
The legislation would have exempted Wisconsin-owned firearms that remained the state from federal regulation, and would have made it 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 would have also prohibited state agencies, state government bodies and local governmental units from expending funds or other resources to confiscate lawfully-owned firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.
Evers said he vetoed the bill “for several reasons.”
“First, this bill is not permitted by the United States Constitution,” Evers stated in his veto message. “Under Article VI, the United States Constitution and the laws made pursuant to it are the ‘supreme law of the land,’ and this bill purports to nullify the enforcement of federal law.”
Evers said he was concerned that by giving citizens “conflicting directives and criminalizing noncompliance” the legislation could potentially violate citizens’ due process rights, adding that he objected to “the confusion that the bill could cause among the public and law enforcement officers, which could pose a detriment to public and community safety.”
“When I called a special session of the Legislature on gun safety in Oct. 2019, I stressed that Wisconsinites desperately want their elected leaders to take action on gun safety and support having meaningful, thoughtful dialogue about common-sense solutions that will both respect and uphold rights while keeping our communities safe,” Evers stated. “These goals are not mutually exclusive, and I welcome constructive conversations to that end.”
In a statement from Monday, July 12, Felzkowski expressed disappointment in Evers’ decision to veto the bill.
“Wisconsinites want assurances that they’re going to be able to protect their families with the rights afforded to them by the U.S. Constitution, regardless of which party controls Washington D.C.,” Felzkowski stated. “I know that, you know that, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature know that, but apparently Governor Evers does not. He vetoed a bill that 29 of 33 state senators voted in favor of. That’s not governing for the greater good of Wisconsin, that’s cow-towing to the private interests that fund his campaign.”