Proposed law would give courts teeth to stop violence
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
CREATED Sep. 24, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep. 24, 2013
MILWAUKEE - New legislation would end the "honor system" many Wisconsin counties rely on to enforce domestic violence restraining orders, adding criminal penalties in cases where abusers fail to hand over their firearms.
Federal law requires guns to be handed over to law enforcement or another third party in any case where a judge issues a restraining order.
However, those orders were are difficult to enforce and rely largely on the honesty of those targeted by the courts.
Republican State Rep. Garey Bies has proposed a law that would make it easier for judges to enforce their own orders.
Bies' bill would require those served with restraining orders to identify the make, model and serial number of all firearms in their possession.
Failure to do this, or lying about firearm ownership, would result in a perjury charge.
Failing to appear in court for a firearm-related hearing would result in a contempt of court charge and arrest.
"This will give people involved certainty if a person does have weapons, they will be turned in or the person will be locked up," Rep. Bies said in an interview Tuesday.