Draft legislation circulated by Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin would ban civilian possession of hollow point and frangible ammunition that, according to state Department of Natural Resources regulations, are required for hunting deer and bear, Media Trackers reported on Friday.
The proposal is being circulated by four freshman Democrats -- Sen. Nikiya Harris (D), Rep. Mandela Barnes, (D), Rep. Evan Goyke (D), and Rep. Fred Kessler (D) -- who come from urban districts in the city of Milwaukee, Brian Sikma wrote.
"The reasoning behind the legislation is a bit muddled," Sikma wrote, but the impact is "quite clear."
A legislative counsel review of the legislation would, he said, "make it impossible for civilians to hunt deer or bear in Wisconsin."
"This bill prohibits a person, with certain exceptions such as for law enforcement, from selling, transporting, manufacturing, or possessing any hollowpoint bullet, any bullet that expands or flattens easily in the human body, or any bullet with a hard envelope that does not entirely cover the core of the bullet. An individual who violates the prohibition is guilty of a Class H felony and is subject to a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to six years, or both," the Legislative Reference Bureau said in its analysis.
An additional five years can be tacked on to the prison sentence if anyone possesses the bullets within 1000 feet of a school.
But the draft, which has not been introduced, conflicts with rules that state "no person shall hunt any deer or bear with any air rifle, rim-fire rifle, any center-fire rifle less than .22 caliber, any .410 bore or less shotgun or handgun loaded with .410 shotgun shell ammunition or with ammunition loaded with nonexpanding type bullets or ammunition loaded with shot other than a single slug or projectile."
An intern for Rep. Barnes told Sikma that the Democrat wasn’t interested in banning deer hunting and "indicated that the lawmakers had no clue that their legislation – if formally introduced and passed – would have done just that."
A staff member later said the comment did not reflect the official position of the representative's office. Other lawmakers could not be reached for comment.
Sikma took the lawmakers to task for claiming in a statement that hollow point ammunition is widely used by the military.
“While used by the military for decades – in part because they inflict massive wounds – hollowpoint bullets have little, if any, practical use for self-defense or hunting in everyday society. Tragically, they are essentially human-killing bullets,” the Democrats said in an email.
But Sikma called the statement "false."
"The U.S. military does not use hollow point ammunition in combat because of the Hague Declaration of 1899," he wrote.
In a press release issued late Friday, Rep. Dave Craig (R) called the proposal "appalling."
“This assault on our state’s rich hunting tradition is appalling. While I’m rarely surprised by the degree some will go to attack our 2nd Amendment Rights, these Democrats have demonstrated just how far they will go to achieve their goal of suppressing the rich traditions so many in Wisconsin hold dearly,” he said.
Since the tragic Sandy Hook school shootings, Democrats across the country have introduced various measures to limit the right to keep and bear arms enumerated in the Second Amendment.
Democrats in some states, like Missouri and Minnesota, have introduced measures to confiscate certain rifles, pistols and shotguns deemed to be "assault" weapons based primarily on their appearance.
Lawmakers in Washington State are pushing a measure that is said to violate the Fourth Amendment by requiring annual inspections of those who own "assault" weapons to ensure they are sufficiently secured.
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