MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Assembly said Tuesday he had “no idea” whether more background checks for gun purchases would make people safer and there was little the state could do to stop mass shootings.
The comments from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos came the day after a gunman killed 10 people at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
Wisconsin Democrats have long pushed for expanding background checks and other measures designed to reduce gun violence, but Republicans who control the Legislature have refused to take them up.
Vos said at a news conference that he didn’t think expanding background checks would do much because they are already required for most sales. Background checks are required for sales from federally licensed dealers, but not for private sales. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers proposed in his state budget to require all firearm sales to go through federally licensed dealers so background checks would be done.
“If someone chooses to break the law, there is very little that we can do besides arrest them after they’ve committed the act,” Vos said.
Vos was asked if he though more background checks would make people feel safer.
“I have no idea,” he said, adding that he hadn’t seen any data suggesting it would.