On Thursday, March 13, Governor Jim Doyle (D) signed Assembly Bill 581, Wisconsin’s “Emergency Powers” legislation. AB 581, sponsored by State Assemblyman Scott Gunderson (R-83), will prevent government authorities from confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens, such as occurred in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In other news, the Wisconsin Senate refused to schedule, Senate Bill 529, Wisconsin’s mentored hunting legislation for a vote before the regular 2008 legislative session ended on Thursday, March 13. SB 529, sponsored by State Senator Robert Wirch (D-22), received statewide support from NRA and other parties such as the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Safari Club International (SCI), National Bear Hunters Association, the Department of Natural Resources, and the many hunter safety instructors across Wisconsin.
Before adjourning, the Senate considered legislation to put sportsmen, gun owners, and even dairy farmers at risk by making it a misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse for harming or threatening to harm an animal. This extremely vague and harmful legislation, Senate Bill 162, sponsored by State Senator Fred Risser (D-26), could have caused an individual to lose their Second Amendment rights by simply using a shock collar to train their hunting dog. With the end of the legislative session, this bill is now dead. This type of legislation has been pushed by the Humane Society of the United States in several other states and is an underhanded way to ban hunting and restrict an individuals right to firearms. Just based on information from HSUS's website, they consider, not only the training of hunting dogs, but the day-to-day practices of Dairy Farmers to be cruel and inhumane.