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On June 24, 2015, former Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a bill repealing Wisconsin’s 48-hour waiting period for purchasing a handgun. 

Before the Republican-led Legislature approved the repeal, the state had required firearm dealers to wait 48 hours between a purchaser passing a state Department of Justice background check and taking possession of a handgun. Today, the law only requires the DOJ to notify dealers within five working days of the start of the background check process of any “unclear” results from the check.

Democratic state Sen. Melissa Agard and Rep. Sheila Stubbs introduced legislation in February 2022 to reinstate the waiting period, which Stubbs called “a common-sense way to limit crimes of passion.” One 2017 study estimates waiting periods reduce gun homicides by 17%. But the Rand Corp. in 2020 found a lack of high-quality research on such “cooling off” periods. 


Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: 2015 Wisconsin Act 22

Reuters: Wisconsin governor signs bill repealing handgun waiting period

Wisconsin Legislature: Sen. Agard, Rep. Stubbs introduce 48-hour waiting period legislation

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Jacob Alabab-Moser / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.