June is Gun Violence Awareness month, an effort to bring attention to the staggering number of gun-related violent incidents that occur each year in the United States. Groups like Moms Demand Action and Everytown are constantly organizing to help bring an end to senseless gun violence and to build safer communities throughout our country.

To do my part, I have once again introduced legislation along with Representative Chris Taylor and Senator LaTonya Johnson that will prevent convicted violent offenders from possessing or purchasing firearms. Our bill, LRB-0084, will align Wisconsin with federal firearm laws that prohibit someone convicted of a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence from owning or buying a firearm. The bill lays out a penalty of a $25,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or both.

Firearms should be kept out of the hands of individuals who have a history of violent behavior. Data shows that a woman is five times more likely to be killed in a domestic violence incident if a firearm is present. In 57% of mass shootings from 2009-16, the perpetrators murdered intimate partners or members of their family.

We all would like to see incidents of gun violence reduced. Keeping individuals with a history of abuse and violent behavior from possessing firearms is a rational and prudent step, and will be a crucial component in the ongoing effort to curb gun violence.

Hebl, a Sun Prairie native, is Sun Prairie's representative in the State Assembly. Reach him by phone at 608-266-7678 or via email at rep.hebl@legis.wisconsin.gov.

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