Public Safety & Justice

Wisconsin Bill Eases Out-of-State Gun Sales

A Republican effort to ease controls on purchases of rifles and shotguns from out of state might please hunters, but at least one Democrat sees it as an act of subservience to the National Rifle Association.
September 17, 2013

A Republican effort to ease controls on purchases of rifles and shotguns from out of state might please hunters, but at least one Democrat sees it as an act of subservience to the National Rifle Association.

Senate Bill 285 would allow Wisconsin residents to purchase long guns from dealers anywhere in the U.S. Since 1971, state law has limited such transactions to states bordering Wisconsin.

“It’s just common sense,” said Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, who plans to introduce the Assembly version of the bill. “The NRA had talked to me about it, and I’m sure they probably talked to Sen. (Tom) Tiffany,” the bill’s lead Senate sponsor.

Spiros said he also talked to some hunters who felt strongly in favor of the change.

In 1968 amid rising worries about armed criminals, the federal Gun Control Act was enacted banning interstate sales of firearms, while allowing an exception for long guns sold by federally licensed firearms dealers to residents of contiguous states. Wisconsin adopted the standard in 1971.

Then in 1986, the federal Firearms Owners Protection Act was passed allowing states to drop the bordering-states restriction.

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