Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker once touted his achievements as a member of the state assembly in "tightening gun laws" for people who committed felony-equivalent offenses or were committed as juveniles.
Two gun control measures led the list of Walker's legislative accomplishments on a version of Walker's 2002 legislative biography page — "About Scott" — maintained by the Internet Archive.
"In 1994, Walker pushed through two measures to tighten gun laws. One measure now prohibits any person who commits the equivalent of a felony as a juvenile from possessing a firearm. The other measure prohibits anyone who was involuntarily committed as a minor from possessing a firearm. This legislation resulted from working with students at Wauwatosa West High School following the tragic shooting of a school administrator in 1993."
The Milwaukee Sentinel noted that the Assembly approved both measures "in a voice vote with no debate."
The article provides some context, noting that one of the bills "was introduced by Wauwatosa legislators in the aftermath of the shooting of Dale Breitlow, Wauwatosa West High School associate principal," by a 21-year old with a troubled history with the law.
The article goes on to identify Walker as a key force behind the legislation:
"The tragic situation of the murder of Dale Breitlow and the subsequent information we found out about the suspect revealed major holes in out handgun check system," said Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa), who had introduced an identical bill in the Assembly. [...] "This bill may not have prevented what happened … but it's something positive that the whole community supported," Walker said.
The national debate on gun control was in a very different place at the time. President Clinton had recently signed the "Brady Bill" into law. The issue also filled the pages of the Sentinel; the day after the above-quoted article ran, the paper's front page carried "part five of an ongoing series exploring the increase in handgun violence," under the heading "Firearms Frenzy."
Last month, Bloomberg Politics reported that Walker "once backed a bill that could have jailed gun dealers who sold weapons without trigger locks — and the people who bought them," before backpedaling in the face of opposition from the NRA.
"There's a reason why Gov, Walker has consistently had an A or better rating from the NRA," AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for Walker's Our American Revival PAC, told BuzzFeed News. "He has been a stalwart for protecting Americans' 2nd Amendment rights."
Walker currently has an A+ rating from the NRA (the highest) and has signed numerous pieces of pro-gun legislation into law during his time as governor.
Walker spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday.
"It is my honor to work with the NRA in my state and across the country. I'm proud of my A+ rating as governor," Walker said.
Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ilan Ben-Meir at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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