Local lawmakers react to gun proposals - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local lawmakers react to gun proposals

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Wisconsin lawmakers are weighing in on the President's controversial gun proposal.

The President announced yesterday 23 executive actions he can take without congress. They include changes to existing background checks, and helping get security officers for schools that want them.

But, President Obama also wants sweeping congressional action.

The proposals, if passed by congress, would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips, and require background checks on virtually every gun sale, things the NRA oppose and continue to fight.

The reaction has been swift and fierce and now Wisconsin lawmakers are starting their conversation.

During a stop at Applied Laser Technologies in Weston, Governor Scott Walker said enforcing stricter gun laws will not solve the problem.

"This were things just dropped on all of us across the country," Governor Scott Walker said. "The common denominator in all of these, is what appears to be is that they are suffering from severe mental illness and challenges out there."

The Governor says the main focus should be on additional training and support for those professionals.  

"The reality is we need to spend more time as a state and as a community trying to figure out how people fall through the cracks with mental illness," the Governor explained.

But, other lawmakers, like Senator Tammy Baldwin say it's not that simple. 

"The time for a national conversation is now," Baldwin said. "There's not just one element of this. So, I think the fact that the president outlined a variety of policy options shows that he understands this is a complex problem."

At a visit in Wausau, the democrat said the President's proposals are a necessary step in the right direction.

"There are things that will help enhance safety of our children, our communities, our schools, that are just common sense."

President Obama has two weeks before the senate judiciary committee will meet to discuss the proposed changes. Until then, lawmakers on both sides say they will push for what they think is right.

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