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


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.

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