GOP Senators Dodging Gun Law Questions Got Election Support from NRA

August 14, 2019

Some Republican state senators who evaded a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter’s questions on Tuesday about considering tougher gun laws, and another who opposes them, have received election support from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Sen. Dan Feyen, of Fond du Lac, said he thought current laws, which lack universal background checks, were fine and asked reporter Patrick Marley to turn his recorder off. Feyen, who was elected in 2016, received $2,824 in outside election support from the NRA.

Sen. Alberta Darling, of River Hills, refused to say whether background checks should be required for more gun sales, such as those made at gun shows or over the internet. Darling, who has been elected to the legislature since 1990, has received $5,035 in direct contributions and outside electioneering help from the gun group – the third most of any Republican.

Sen. Devin LeMahieu, of Oostburg, refused to say whether he thought background checks should be required for online gun transactions between two strangers. LeMahieu, who was first elected in 2014, has received $1,666 in contributions and outside election support from the NRA.

Sen. Jerry Petrowski, of Marathon, said he would have to review proposals for broader background checks before he would comment. Petrowski, who has been elected to the legislature since 1998, has received $1,638 in NRA contributions and outside support.

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, of Juneau, said in a separate tweet that he doesn’t know what can be done about mass shootings but that he personally disagrees with expanding background checks because "there is always going to be a constituency who vote Republican and that means registering your firearm and they are going to be opposed to it."

Fitzgerald, who has been elected to the Senate since 1994, has received $1,777 in NRA contributions and outside election support. And the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, which he runs to raise money to spend on GOP Senate candidates in elections, received $5,000 in direct NRA contributions.

Earlier this month, 31 people were killed within 24 hours in two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.