In his first budget, Gov. Tony Evers tried to expand background checks and put in place gun restrictions but the Republican-led Legislature blocked the change.
The governor's 2021-23 budget proposal put the matter back on the table, calling for a universal background check requirement for all firearm sales.
The measure would have prohibited any person from transferring any firearm, including the frame or receiver of a firearm, unless the transfer occured through a federally licensed firearms dealer and involved a Wisconsin Department of Justice background check.
It also proposed what is known as a "red flag" law, which would allow a judge to bar people deemed a threat to themselves or others from having a gun for a set period. A family member or law enforcement officer would be able to seek such an order.
Only 19 states have red flag laws, but a key piece of the recent federal legislation provided money to states to establish such programs. That said, a May 22, 2022, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article noted "Republicans who control the state Legislature are unlikely to ever take up legislation to expand background checks or add red-flag policies and have rejected repeated calls from Democrats to do so."
We rated this promise In the Works in March 2021, since the proposal was back on the table in the 2021-'23 budget. However, Republicans removed those provisions.
We asked Evers' staff for any evidence on progress related to this promise, as well as other promises, but did not receive an update.
Despite Evers' efforts, this promise is not in place. If the governor wins a second term, we'll revisit next year. But for now, we rate it Promise Broken.