Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker expanded gun rights on Wednesday by signing a pair of bills, one of which — Senate Bill 35 — nixes the 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases and the other — Senate Bill 70 — which allows off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons on public school campuses.
A signing ceremony was held at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, the workplace of vocal gun-rights advocate Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.
“This bill signing has been long planned with law enforcement,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick told The Washington Post, referencing a June 11 tweet from Clarke announcing the bill signing.
Supporters of the bills argue that allowing retired and off-duty police officers to carry in public schools has the potential to increase campus safety and that the 48-hour waiting period is an antiquated mandate (initially signed in 1976) given that background checks can now be processed in a matter of minutes.
However, opponents believe that the 48-hour waiting period provides a “cooling off” period for any hot-tempered spouse or suicidal individual to reconsider their dubious plan to purchase a firearm. Yet, there is little evidence to suggest that the waiting period actually works as a “cooling off” mechanism.
In his tenure as governor, Walker has made great strides to restore the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, including signing a shall-issue concealed carrying licensing bill and “castle doctrine” legislation to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens who use deadly force against an attacker.
Walker has rightly earned an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.