Four Madison lawmakers announced Wednesday their bill to ban any possession or transfer of semiautomatic rifles in the state.
State Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, and three other Assembly Democrats released their proposal on the heels of a Republican push to allow concealed carry on UW System campuses, a decision many Democrats said would endanger students.
Republicans maintain the measure would keep campuses in Wisconsin safe from mass shootings. Subeck said banning semiautomatic weapons would keep communities safe from that kind of tragedy.
“Our nation has watched as community after community has had to confront the tragedies that occur when weapons designed to kill large numbers of people quickly get into the hands of a dangerous person,” Subeck said in a statement. “No Wisconsin community should ever have to face such a tragedy at the hands of someone armed with a semiautomatic assault weapon.”
The bill, which Subeck said will be introduced in the coming weeks, would ban the sale, transportation or possession of assault weapons except by on-duty law enforcement and military personnel. State Reps. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, Terese Berceau, D-Madison, and Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, joined Subeck in proposing the legislation.
The bill would make owning or selling such a weapon a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum of six years in prison, or 11 years if the crime occurred in a school zone.
“I can conceive of no legitimate reason that any citizen should need to own or use a semiautomatic assault weapon,” Subeck said in the statement.