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Wisconsinites react to potential deal in D.C. on gun reform

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jun 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 11:30:37-04

The deal falls far short of reforms President Biden and other gun control activists have been pushing, but it is the first sign of a possible shift in gun laws after several years of no action in Congress.

Ten Republicans and 10 Democrats struck the deal, though the text has yet to be finalized.

Any deal with Republican support in an evenly split Senate would pass. Though it would first have to get through a Republican-backed filibuster.

The agreement would enhance background checks for anyone under 21 trying to but a semiautomatic weapon.

"They're saying you can move out [at 18] and have a family, but you couldn't protect your family. You couldn't protect your home," said Nik Clarke, the president and chairman of Wisconsin Carry.

Clarke argues that tighter gun laws would impede the rights of millions in response to the actions of a few, including the "lunatics" that shoot up schools.

"There's no law that's going to stop them from doing that. They're going to do what they want to do. We need to find ways to give people the mechanisms to deter these kinds of things," said Clarke.

The bipartisan agreement would also help states fund red flag laws, which allow law enforcement to confiscate guns, temporarily, from people they believe to be dangerous.

The deal would also help states pay for more mental health resources at schools.

"I guess it's exciting to hear that Republicans are interested in making steps toward sensible gun legislation," said Angela Harris, chairwoman of Black Educators Caucus MKE.

Harris wants more mental health funding, she says, to hit at the root of gun violence and school shootings.

"If we begin to invest in our schools, at a young age, we will be less likely to see more mass shooters," said Harris.

The limited measures, if they pass, however, certainly won't end debate in Washington D.C. or here, in Wisconsin.

"You've got 50 teachers in a school. Let's get five who are willing to be armed. That would be a tremendous deterrent," said Clarke.

"Teachers carry enough already. We don't have the capacity to carry a gun at school. Our arms are already full," said Harris.

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