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Wisconsin Democrats renew call for votes on gun safety bills

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FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, left, and Wisconsin Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, right, look on as Gov. Tony Evers delivers his State of the State address at the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison, Wis. Gov. (Amber Arnold/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats renewed calls Wednesday for the Republican-controlled Legislature to take up a pair of gun safety bills that were rejected without any debate just over two years ago.

The bills would institute a universal background check for gun sales and implement a “red flag” law that would allow judges to take guns away from people determined to be a threat.

Gov. Tony Evers, who is up for reelection in November, called a special session in 2019 to pass them, but Republicans ignored him. It is one of nine special sessions the GOP has ignored, gaveling in and out in under a minute on each.

There is a new call to pass the bills the day after an 18-year-old gunman killed at least 19 children and their two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Democratic state Sen. Melissa Agard, of Madison, launched a petition Wednesday calling on Republicans to take up the bills.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assemly Speaker Robin Vos did not immediately return messages.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Republicans “need to be more concerned about parents than they are about the NRA. They need to be more worried about keeping kids safe than they are about keeping their political futures safe.”

Kaul, the parent of two young children, said “We need our legislators to get serious about these issues.”

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