June 24, 2015
Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has benefited from $3.5 million in outside electioneering support and campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA), signed new laws Wednesday that loosen rules for buying and carrying guns in Wisconsin.
The measures are Senate Bill 35, which eliminates Wisconsin’s 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases, and Senate Bill 70, which allows retired and off-duty police officers to carry concealed weapons on school grounds. SB35, which was introduced and approved earlier this year by the Republican-controlled legislature, was supported by the NRA and hunting groups.
The NRA, which is the nation’s most powerful federal and state gun lobbying group, spent a total of $3.5 million on outside electioneering activities in the 2010 general, 2012 recall and 2014 general elections to help elect Walker, who is expected to announce next month whether he will be a 2016 GOP presidential candidate. Walker was one of a select group of possible Republican presidential candidates who were invited to speak last April at a national NRA meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
During his races for governor, the NRA spent most of its cash on television and radio ads that praised Walker as a supporter of gun rights or criticized his Democratic opponent. In addition to the outside spending, the NRA’s state PAC contributed $12,500 to Walker between January 2010 and December 2014.
Since he was elected in 2010, Walker has signed other pro-gun legislation into law, including the controversial concealed carry law, and the so-called “castle doctrine” law that provides some legal protections for people who shoot trespassers inside a home, business or vehicle.