MADISON — The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate gaveled into a special session on gun control and ended it 30 seconds later.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald took the action in an empty Senate chamber Thursday night shortly after 8 p.m. He has long opposed the special session called by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to pass a universal background check and "red flag" bill.
Gov. Tony Evers, the state attorney general, gun control advocates and Democratic lawmakers all urged Republicans to vote on the bills. But Republicans ignored them.
The Assembly planned to take similar action, quickly convening and adjourning the special session, later Thursday night.
Democrats say Republicans are ignoring what the public wants and putting public safety at risk.
The governor released this statement, late Thursday night.
"Republicans essentially just told 80 percent of Wisconsinites and a majority of gun owners, ‘go jump in a lake,’ because they didn’t have the courage to take a vote—much less have a dialogue—on two bills about universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders that we know can save lives. And they did so at their own peril because now Republicans have to go back to their districts and explain to their constituents why they refused to even do their jobs today.”