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Proposal from state lawmakers would require stores to lock up gun at closing time

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) — Democratic state legislators are proposing a package of bills concerning gun storage. One of the bills would require stores to lock up weapons at closing time. The package of bills is in response to 2017 incident in Janesville when a man stole 18 guns from a shop.

If it were to go into place, the law would require owners to secure weapons in a locked safe, behind a security gate or inside a reinforced display case.

Jake Schira, owner of Gunsmith Jake in Rothschild, said the new law would be overbearing and could end up being a financial burden for store owners.

“You’re gonna put places out of business is what it’s going to come to,” Schira said. “I would imagine there’s going to be a lot of resistance because of the amount of money that it would take to do something like that.”

Democratic State Rep. Lisa Subeck sponsors the bill and said the cost is part of doing business safely.

“We tried to offer a number of options for what would provide adequate security, but when push comes to shove we can’t bare the cost of these weapons being out on the street,” Subeck said.

Schira said he already has multiple security measure in place and doesn’t think additional security will stop someone if they really want to steal something from his shop.

“People who want in, they’re coming in,” he said. “So all you can do is board it up, lock it up, insure it and put security systems on it.” He thinks the bill would penalize responsible gun owners.

Subeck said her goal with the bill is to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.

“[The bills] really are about keeping guns out of the hands of children and keeping guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited from having them or those who intend to do harm,” Subeck said.

Also included in the package of bills are requirements for gun owners to store firearms in a locked container if a child or person who cannot legally posses a firearm lives at the home.

Sarah McGrew

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