"No Wisconsin community should ever have to face such a tragedy at the hands of someone armed with a semiautomatic assault weapon," said legislation sponsor, Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), in a statement. "I can conceive of no legitimate reason that any citizen should need to own or use a semiautomatic assault weapon."
What does she consider an "assault weapon?" Any semi-auto rifle with a detachable magazine and any of the following: a pistol grip; adjustable, folding, or thumbhole stock; bayonet mount; threaded barrel; muzzle brake; or compensator. All of such firearms would be banned. Other states, such as New York and New Jersey, have similar rules, but allow for two or more features to be present. Suback's prohibition would be triggered by just one.
Any semiautomatic pistol with a detachable magazine having a barrel shroud, weight of 50 ounces or more, threaded barrel, stock, or second handgrip would be considered an assault weapon.
This would make most any AR- or AK-pattern Short-Barreled Rifle illegal in Wisconsin, and would also, by default, make most handgun suppressors illegal by making their method of attachment—a threaded barrel—illegal.
What about semi-auto shotguns? If one has a fixed magazine capable of holding more than seven shells, a detachable magazine of any capacity, a forward grip, or an adjustable thumbhole stock, it would be banned under the new law, says bearingarms.com.
As guns.com points out, that would make a Remington 1100 illegal if it had a common extended magazine tube.
The legislation includes no allowance for rimfire caliber firearms or for grandfathering in guns already in residents' possession. A violation would be classified as a Class H felony carrying a penalty of up to six years in prison and fines up to $10,000, according to madison.com.
The firearm homicide rate in Wisconsin is comparatively low, with 103 gun deaths in 2013. For comparison, in Maryland, which has a population similar to that of Wisconsin, there were 268 gun homicides in 2013, according to bearingarms.com and guns.com.