New Wisconsin gun law: If you can hold it, you can shoot it
Despite the fact that there have been 389 mass shootings in the United States (11 of them since the church massacre in Sutherland Spring) and that 64 percent of Americans want to see stricter gun laws, Wisconsin just made it easier for anyone who can hold a gun to legally be able to shoot it. On Saturday, governor Scott Walker signed a bill that did away with any minimum age requirement to legally hunt in the state. Which I guess was his way of celebrating this year’s deer season, which kicks off on Saturday and runs through November 26.
Previously, the state required that children had to be at least 10 years old to go hunting with a mentor, and that they could only carry a single gun between them. Assembly Bill 455 — or All for Guns and Guns for All, as I like to call it — eliminates any minimum age requirement, which means that newborns, toddlers and tweens are all welcome to take a shot at an innocent deer if the adult overseeing them is cool with it, accompanies them, and is within arm’s length. And the little tyke can even carry their own weapon! How cute is that?
Wisconsin state rep Joel Kleefisch, for one, is pretty darn excited about the new rules. Kleefisch, who is also the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel how he once had to trudge all the way to Michigan when he wanted to take his then-8-year-old daughter hunting. “It’s not government’s job to tell parents” when their kids are ready to kill live animals for fun with a gun, Kleefisch said.
If your kid wants to hunt alone, however, he or she must be at least 14 years of age and have passed a safety class. But there’s no safety class required for the gun-happy tots who want to accompany their parents on a hunt. Which is making some gun safety advocates uncomfortable.
“How can your full attention be on the child? It can’t,” said hunting safety instructor Ray Anderson, who made it clear to the Journal Sentinel that he was speaking only for himself when he testified against the bill. “That’s how accidents happen.”
Just as pleased as Kleefisch that the bill passed? The NRA, which obviously supported the legislation, and urged its members to take action and make sure that the “portion of the bill that would repeal the current restriction that only one firearm or bow may be carried between an apprentice and mentor.”
Spoken like a true terrorist organization.