MADISON -- Gun control bills called as part of a special session at the state capitol were expected to be shot down by the Republican-controlled legislature.
The Assembly was in session early Thursday evening. But in the Senate, the special session was expected to begin during the evening hours. Republican leaders say it will be a quick session -- with no votes cast.
With a rally outside, groups like Mothers Against Gun Violence and March For Our Lives are demanding a vote in Thursday's special legislative session called by Governor Tony Evers last month. On the agenda -- two gun control bills.
Republicans planned to enter into what is known as a skeletal session -- gaveling in and out in quick succession. That would fulfill their obligation of holding the session. But they would not take a vote.
"We've already had these debates. We already know where people stand. I don't really want to spend a bunch of time playing politics with this," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
Republicans say there is no support for the bills on their side of the aisle. Gun control advocates say the bills would close the gun show loopholes and establish a "Red Flag Law," allowing a family member or law enforcement officer to petition a judge to temporarily take away a gun from someone who is in danger of harming themselves or others.
"Even when you yell 'fire' in a crowded theater, it happens first then you are prosecuted after. What they want to have happen is that you are prosecuted first and you have to prove yourself innocent," Vos said.
But Democrats say the majority of people in Wisconsin want these laws in place.
"Failing to act on basic public safety issues is accepting that there is nothing that we can do to make our community safer," said State Rep. Gordon Hintz.
The only rule for this special session -- it has to be called before midnight on Thursday.