State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
During May 2006, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, told ABC News, "We can't allow these local tyrannies to exist after disaster hits where they throw the Constitution out the window. That's what the police chief in New Orleans did. The lesson of New Orleans is all the people that said the police, the government would protect you could not be trusted. Citizens were completely on their own against robbers, against looters, and if they didn't have a firearm they were completely defenseless against the bad guys."
In an effort to find gun owners for a federal lawsuit about the city's seizure of firearms after the hurricane, that the NRA filed against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley, the organization has hired private investigators.
The NRA says New Orleans confiscated more than 1,000 guns that were not part of any criminal investigation. During April 2006, police made about 700 firearms available for owners to claim by presenting a bill of sale or an affidavit with the weapon's serial number. Attorneys for the NRA say investigators have found few of the guns' owners because the hurricane scattered so many people.
Closer to home, Wisconsin State Representative Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford), representing part of the 28th Senate District that I represent in the Wisconsin State Senate, authored legislation to prevent police from seizing guns in an emergency the way they were taken away in New Orleans.
Under current Wisconsin law, the governor, the adjutant general, and certain local officials may exercise emergency powers during an emergency resulting from enemy action or natural or man-made disaster.
Assembly Bill 581 (AB 581) prohibits those individuals from exercising emergency powers to restrict the possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition during an emergency. An amendment to the bill clarifies that those individuals are prohibited from restricting the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition during an emergency.
AB 581 was approved by the state Assembly last month, 84-13.
Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker says he wants the state Senate to take up AB 581 soon.
I support AB 581 and when it comes to the floor of the state Senate, I will vote in favor of the bill. The rights of law abiding gun owners should not be taken away by the government that swears to protect them.