MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - If two state lawmakers have their way, Wisconsinites could buy rifles and shotguns from dealers throughout the nation.
Freshman Assembly Republican John Spiros of Marshfield and Senate Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst want to end a long-time restriction, that lets people buy long guns only from dealers in Wisconsin and its four neighboring states.
Spiros says the National Rifle Association urged to him to propose the change, and he has spoken with hunters who strongly favor it. Tiffany has not commented.
Back in 1968, Congress responded to concerns about armed criminals by banning interstate firearm sales except long guns sold by licensed dealers to people in contiguous states. Wisconsin passed its version of the federal law in 1971.
Fifteen years later, Congress dropped the contiguous state restriction for long weapons -- but Wisconsin's measure is still on the books.
Assembly Democrat Terese Berceau of Madison, a gun control advocate, wants to keep that ban. She says it's clear that the NRA has a grip on state legislatures throughout the country.
Berceau calls it "gun season" throughout the country.
Neither house has scheduled a hearing on the measure, and Berceau does not expect the bill to go that far.
Jim Palmer, who heads the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, does not see much of a problem with the bill. He says it does not involve handguns -- and most other states have dropped their contiguous state limits on long gun purchases.