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Stiffer gun restrictions on straw purchases, felony possession among measures signed into law by Gov. Walker



There are mandatory minimum sentences now in Wisconsin for those convicted of illegal gun possession.

It’s all part of a bill signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday.

Now it’s four years behind bars minimum for those crimes.

That all sounds good to La Crosse asst. police chief Rob Abraham, who is frequently critical of judges for light sentences on gun crimes.

Like the most recent:

“A felon, who was shooting it up on the south side of La Crosse with another felon and he ended up with a six-year sentence,” Abraham said Wednesday afternoon on WIZM. “They ran that concurrent with his probation revocation on an armed robbery down in madison, so essentially, he got zero for having a shootout on 16th Street in La Crosse in the middle of the day.”

The new gun measure was among 41 signed by the governor on Wednesday.

The new gun law increases penalties for straw purchasers; those who buy a gun for those who can’t illegally possess one, along with that mandatory minimum.

“I really like the fact that there’s a mandatory minimum in there,” Abraham said. “It does tie the judge’s hands and, in some cases, I think that’s a good thing because some of the lenient sentences that I’ve seen in the past regarding felons in possession of firearms and felons using firearms.”

Taking some of the decision making from judges isn’t something that bothers Abraham.

“I’ve never shied away from the fact that felons shouldn’t have guns and shouldn’t commit more crimes with guns,” Abraham said. “And, obviously, I’ve been disappointed with some of the sentences that have come out.”

The new law also creates penalties for those who are simply holding a gun for a felon.

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