Skip to main content

Scott Walker signs law getting rid of waiting period for Wisconsin handgun purchases

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A new law signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday loosens gun restrictions in that state by eliminating the 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.

With the change, just nine states - including Minnesota - have waiting periods in place before a purchaser can take possession of a gun, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Supporters of the measure argued the 48-hour waiting period penalizes law-abiding citizens who shouldn't have to wait to take possession of their guns. They also say two days isn't necessary any more to do background checks on buyers because of new technology that can complete them more quickly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Opponents claimed the waiting period also served as a cooling-off period for people who buy guns impulsively, especially in domestic violence situations.

However, a review by PolitiFact, the fact-checking organization, found little evidence that waiting periods reduce gun violence. The review found studies showing that cooling-off periods reduce the number of suicides committed using guns.

The other measure signed by Walker allows off-duty and retired police officers to carry concealed weapons at public schools.

Walker, who is expected to announced his candidacy for the White House shortly, has been emphasizing his gun-rights record as he speaks around the country.

During his time in office, Walker has signed measures to allow concealed carrying of firearms and to establish the "castle doctrine," which allows homeowners to use deadly force against an intruder, the Journal Sentinel reports.

Walker has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association and spoke to the gun rights group in April. Walker signed the measures standing next to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who is also an advocate of gun rights, according to WTMJ.

The public debate over access to guns has arisen again in the wake of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina last week, which left nine people dead. Dylann Roof, 21, has been charged in that case.

Next Up


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, June 28

The state will stop providing daily updates and move to weekly editions beginning Thursday, June 30.


Sports anchor Hobie Artigue announces FOX9 departure

Artigue has spent the past seven years covering Minnesota sports.

hennepin county medical center

Boy, 7, dies after being pulled from pool in south Minneapolis

The boy was pulled from a pool at a home in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 8.32.18 AM

Nashville man leaving wedding shot in the face in Minneapolis

He was leaving a wedding when gunfire erupted near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday night.


Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.


Man dies after being run over by his Clydesdale in St. Cloud

The accident happened Sunday afternoon at the St. Cloud MAC.

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.


Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.


Firearm purchases booming in Wisconsin

The number of calls to Wisconsin's handgun hotline -- the line firearm dealers must call to register a gun -- set a record in February, with nearly 16,000 calls. So far this year, the hotline has handled more than 53,000 calls and is on pace soar past the number of calls in 2011. Wisconsin is right at the center of a national trend.

Gov. Scott Walker recall election, primary cost Wisconsin $13.5M

The Government Accountability Board said Friday that the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the primary election that accompanied it cost Wisconsin taxpayers $13.5 million. Some of the costs associated with the recall election -- in which Walker retained his post --- included payment of poll workers, staff salaries, printing ballots and programming election equipment.