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Bill would take guns from domestic abusers

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Domestic abusers who don't give up their weapons as required could face more punishment under a bill proposed in the Wisconsin Legislature. Assembly Republican Garey Bies of Sister Bay is asking colleagues to co-sign his measure. It would create a process in which courts can verify whether people under restraining orders for domestic-or-child abuse comply with court orders to surrender their firearms. Bies says the idea is to prevent abusers from offending again when the situation arises. At the very least, he says they would have to look harder to find a weapon -- and by then, their heat-of-passion might have gone away.

A similar bill was proposed a few years ago, but Milwaukee County Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers said many judges thought the system would not work because the courts were already overburdened. The state tried a pilot program in four counties -- and U-W Milwaukee expert Steven Brandl found it to be effective. Milwaukee County adopted a gun-checking policy for abusers in April.

Bies says many other counties still don't make those checks. He expects his measure to get final approval by the end of the year.