On Thursday afternoon, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted 13-3 to reject a proposal that would have allowed gun shows at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. Here’s a press release from a group of supervisors who voted against the proposal (Ryan Clancy, Joseph J. Czarnezki, Liz Sumner), followed by a press release from a supervisor who voted in favor (Felesia A. Martin).



Supervisors Clancy, Czarnezki, and Sumner Applaud Decision to Reject Gun Shows at County Sports Complex

MILWAUKEE – Today the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors rejected (13-3) a proposal by Supervisors Patti Logsdon, Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, and Felesia A. Martin to allow Milwaukee County to host gun shows at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. Supervisors Ryan Clancy, Joseph J. Czarnezki, and Liz Sumner released the following statement applauding this decision.

“We are just three days removed from yet another mass shooting in Colorado and have barely caught our breath from the horrific mass shooting in Atlanta. We are relieved by the County Board’s decision to reject this proposal.

“The gun show loophole ensures that people can purchase and receive weapons on the same day, as opposed to having to complete a common-sense background check which 89% of Americans approve of. Milwaukee County should have no part in facilitating gun sales, especially when state law prohibits us from mandating background checks or other common-sense measures at gun shows on our grounds.

“At the most recent Parks Committee meeting, we heard the claim several times that this gun show has happened ‘without incident’ for many years. That claim is entirely without merit. The fact is that the majority of sellers at gun shows are not federally licensed, and can sell guns without a background check, even to people who might have a history of domestic abuse, a restraining order, or who intend to use that weapon to immediately commit a crime. We have no way of knowing whether a gun purchased at this show was used in a crime.

“The recent killings in Atlanta were with a weapon that was purchased the same day. Because there are no background checks, and because there is no registry of sales from private dealers, we cannot know if a weapon purchased from a private dealer at a gun show was used in a crime unless they happen to leave the receipt behind.

“We thank our colleagues who voted to reject this proposal and call on members of the Wisconsin State Legislature to enact common-sense gun laws to keep Wisconsinites safe.”


Supervisor Martin Statement on Hosting Gun Shows at Milwaukee County Sports Complex

MILWAUKEE – Today the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted to reject (13-3 ) a proposal by Supervisors Patti Logsdon, Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, and Felesia A. Martin to allow Milwaukee County to host gun shows at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. Supervisor Martin voted in favor of the proposal and released the following statement on her vote.

“It is most unfortunate that we are faced with mass shootings right before the Milwaukee County Board takes up a measure to permit gun shows at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. We are raw with emotions and some residents have been traumatized or retraumatized by recent events which have led many to question, ‘why are we considering allowing gun shows at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex?’

“I represent a diverse population. My constituents want to have equal access to gun shows to learn how to safely use and store weapons, learn how to rock climb, hunt, and fish just like suburban and rural residents.

“While I support this resolution, I also support universal background checks, banning all military assault weapons, banning extended magazine clips and requiring a federal firearms license (FFL) for private sellers at gun shows. I also support a three-business day hold until all gun sales are finalized, to ensure a thoroughly vetted background check.

“This gun show had been held at the Sports Complex for several years since the 2012 resolution banning guns from County facilities. We must ask a few questions. If the gun show was permitted since 2012, what makes this year different? Was there a sunset date for permitting the gun show? Were any laws violated in past years? How do we define a ‘private seller’?

“Hopefully, moving forward we can have more thoughtful and deliberative discussions around this issue and see bipartisan action from state and federal legislators on commonsense gun laws.

“I would prefer to have stronger gun safety laws in place at these gun shows such as requiring all private sellers to have FFL and requiring background checks. However, Robin Vos and the Republican controlled Wisconsin State Legislature took this local control away from the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

“We must restore local control in Wisconsin.”

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.