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Attorney General Kaul: It’s time for the Legislature to debate red flag law, background checks

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Attorney General Josh Kaul

MADISON, Wis. – Following the tragedies in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Wisconsin’s attorney general is calling once more for the state Legislature to pass gun control measures.

Attorney General Josh Kaul said he is advocating for universal background checks and a “red flag” law, an issue he first talked about in his speech on Inauguration Day. It would allow a family member or law enforcement officer to petition a court to prohibit someone who is mentally ill from possessing a firearm.

“What he haven’t seen is debates regarding the red flag law. We haven’t seen a debate recently about universal background checks. It’s time for those debates to happen and for legislation to get passed,” Kaul told News 3 Now.

Kaul said he’s hoping to work with Republican legislative leaders to help prevent mass shooting and acts of gun violence.

On Monday morning, President Donald Trump called for bipartisan action to stop mass shootings, including a red flag law.

“This is an issue that I agree with Donald Trump on now, as of today,” Kaul said. “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, this is about preventing these horrible tragedies from happening.”

Democratic Rep. Melissa Sargent has previously proposed red flag law legislation and said she plans to introduce a similar bill this fall.

The measure she introduced in 2017 would allow a court to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting someone from possessing a firearm if the court believed that person would hurt himself, herself or someone else. Before filing that restraining order, the court would need to have received a petition from a law enforcement officer or family member.

Kaul would not say whether he would support Sargent’s bill, but said Republicans should be a part of the conversation.