Federal Action

Contact the President of the United States

The United States needs a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. President Biden’s initial nominee for the position, David Chipman, was an excellent, qualified choice, but he was not confirmed. Ultimately, President Biden pulled his nomination.

The position must be filled. The agency needs a leader to champion gun violence prevention. Tell President Biden to nominate another qualified candidate for ATF Director now. This is urgent; there is no time to wait.

State Actions

Contact Your Legislators to Support Lifesaving Bills

Did you hear the great news? Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul joined with members of the legislature, who just introduced two new lifesaving gun violence prevention bills:

  1. Requiring background checks on all gun sales in Wisconsin
  2. Creating a process to temporarily remove guns from people who are in imminent danger of harming themselves or others (extreme risk protection restraining orders and injunctions).

The introduction of these bills is worth celebrating, and we have a lot of work to do. Getting these bills passed will be an uphill battle. Your Wisconsin legislators need to hear from you! Urge your legislators to support these powerful gun violence prevention bills!

This is our chance to save lives in Wisconsin, and it won’t happen unless we raise our voices.>>Click here to send a message to your state legislators demanding that they support these evidence-based gun violence prevention bills.

Let’s make this happen!

Take Action

Contact Your Legislators to Oppose Dangerous Bills

The Wisconsin state legislature has recently proposed a number of dangerous gun bills, most of which would expand concealed carry to more people and places:

  1. SB484 / AB495 Relating to the possession of a firearm in a vehicle on school grounds by a person with a license to carry a concealed weapon
  2. SB502 / AB498 Relating to the minimum age to be eligible for a license to carry a concealed weapon
  3. SB516 / AB518 Relating to reciprocity for out-of-state licenses to carry a concealed weapon
  4. SB570 / AB572 Relating to limiting civil liability for firearm, firearm accessory, and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, importers, trade associations, sellers, and dealers
  5. SB584 Relating to possession of a firearm by a licensee in a place of worship located on the grounds of a private school
  6. LRB-4759 Relating to carrying concealed firearms without a license or law enforcement card; carrying firearms in police stations, houses of correction, secure mental health facilities, taverns, and mass public transportation systems; and carrying firearms in wildlife refuges or while engageing in certain activities, such as operating an ATV.

According to a recent report by WAVE and the Center for American Progress (CAP), since the passage of Wisconsin’s law to allow people to carry concealed weapons (CCW) passed nearly a decade ago, evidence shows that

  • Trends in Wisconsin suggest that the passage of the CCW law was associated with a rise in gun homicides.
  • Wisconsin’s CCW law is associated with “an increase in violent gun-related crime”
  • “gun theft increased significantly following the enactment of the CCW law” in Wisconsin

Wisconsin legislators should not expand concealed carry to more people (i.e., youth) and places (i.e., schools); they should pass lifesaving gun laws that will make Wisconsin safe!

Take Action

Sign Up for WAVE’s Virtual Day of Action

Save the date! On Tuesday, November 9, we are hosting a virtual Day of Action! This will be the most important action you can take this year to end gun violence.

November 9th will be our chance to show Wisconsin legislators that Wisconsinites want them to support the lifesaving gun violence prevention bills that were recently introduced, including background checks on all gun sales and a process for obtaining extreme risk protection orders (ERPO).

Likewise, it’s our chance to demand that they reject the series of bills that have been introduced in Wisconsin to loosen our carrying concealed weapons (CCW) laws.

>>>Click here to sign up now!

This event will be all virtual, and we will help you prepare in advance to make sure you feel comfortable, no matter your experience. You will have the opportunity to speak with legislators, or, if you are not interested in talking, you can simply show up to demonstrate our strength in numbers. Either way, your presence will make a difference!!

To keep these sessions brief, we will hold two separate sessions–one at 10:00 am for residents of the eastern senate districts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 30, 33) and one at 12:00 pm for the residents of western senate districts (10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32).

Not sure which district you live in? You can look it up! Type your address in the search bar: https://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/?single=y.

Sign Up!
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Wisconsin Voter Information – 2020

If you are eligible to vote, we urge you to vote in the August 11th and November 3rd elections this year! (And, to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19, we encourage you to vote absentee.) 

Voting is an essential civic duty to ensure we elect officials who will represent our priorities, including passing evidence-based, lifesaving gun violence prevention policies. 

Your voice deserves to be heard!

Please note: We will do our best to keep the information below up-to-date, but, due to COVID-19, information may change.

Register to Vote & Vote Absentee

  1. Register to vote (or check to make sure you are registered): https://wave.votewisconsin.com/

  2. Request an absentee ballot.

    a. Online Form – https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoteAbsentee. An acceptable photo ID is required.
    b. Paper Form – Depending on where you live, you may receive a paper “Wisconsin Application for Absentee Ballot” in the mail. An acceptable photo ID is required. You may submit your application and a copy of your ID by mail, fax, email, or in-person at your municipal clerk’s office.

  3. Complete your absentee ballot, and have a witness sign it.

  4. Submit your completed absentee ballot. (It must be received your municipal clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.)

If you need assistance in registering to vote or applying for your absentee ballot, please let us know. You can email us at admin@waveedfund.org.

Dates to Know

Dates To Know For Wisconsin’s August 11, 2020, Partisan Primary Election

July 22, 2020 – Last day to register to vote online or by mail for the August 11th Partisan Primary
August 6, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. Last day to request an absentee ballot for the August 11th Partisan Primary (To avoid any potential issues and make sure you get your ballot in time, do NOT wait until the last day.)
August 7, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. Last day to register to vote in-person in your municipal clerk’s office before election day. (You can register to vote in-person at your polling place on election day between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., too, but we recommend that you plan to register in advance if you can.)
August 11, 2020, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – You can register to vote in-person at your polling place on Election Day, but we recommend that you plan to register in advance if you can.
August 11, 2020, by 8:00 p.m. – Your absentee ballot must be received your municipal clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
August 11, 2020 Wisconsin Fall Partisan Primary Election Day

Dates to Know for November 3, 2020, General Election

October 14, 2020 Last day to register to vote online or by mail for the November 3rd General Election
October 29, by 5:00 p.m.  Last day to request an absentee ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election. (To avoid any potential issues and make sure you get your ballot in time, do NOT wait until the last day.)
October 30, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. Last day to register to vote in-person in your municipal clerk’s office before election day. (You can register to vote in-person on election day, too, but we recommend that you plan to register in advance if you can.)
November 3, 2020, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – You can register to vote in-person at your polling place on Election Day, but we recommend that you plan to register in advance if you can.
November 3, 2020, by 8:00 p.m. Your absentee ballot must be received your municipal clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
November 3, 2020  General Election Day

wave2021Wisconsin Voter Information – 2020
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Become a WAVE Action Leader

Help us inspire new voters!

Scientific research shows that friend-to-friend communication (also known as relational organizing or RO) is a promising way to engage more people civically. Please sign up to be a WAVE Action Leader, who will contact at least five people when called upon to do so by WAVE.

What does it mean to be a WAVE Action Leader?

Being a WAVE Action Leader is very easy yet extremely powerful. We will share a mobile app and calls to action with you to allow you to empower your personal network to become more civically engaged and help us prevent gun violence in Wisconsin.

  1. Sign-up to become a WAVE Action Leader and download the app (see below).
  2. Compile a list of at least five friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers you agree to contact when WAVE shares a call to action (e.g., pledge to respond to the Census).
  3. Contact those friends when we call on you to do so. (This will likely be about once per month until November 2020 and probably less frequently after that.)
  4. Share the results with us!

How do I sign up to become a WAVE Action Leader?

Empower App Icon

Sign up using this link: https://getempower.com/WAVE. Enter your first name, your last name, and your mobile phone number to create your account. This will allow you to use the Empower (My RVP List) application, which will make the process much easier for you and us!

If you want to participate but are uncomfortable using the app, you can download and fill-out this form to sign-up. Please either email the filled out form to stephanie@waveedfund.org or mail it to P.O. Box 170393, Milwaukee, WI 53217.

How WAVE Has Already Used Relational Organizing

WAVE has used relational organizing to help people register to vote, pledge to take the 2020 Census, contact their elected officials, and learn about upcoming gun violence prevention (GVP) events. Check out this partner spotlight about us on the Organizing Empowerment Project’s website: https://organizingempowerment.org/blog/partner-spotlight-wave

If you have any questions, please reach out to our Program Director, Heidi, at hrose@waveedfund.org.

wave2021Become a WAVE Action Leader
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Donate on December 3, 2019!

Over the past three years, Giving Tuesday has become a very important part of WAVE’s annual fundraising efforts, and we want to continue to build upon our success.

Please donate to WAVE’s 2019 Giving Tuesday Campaign — #WAVEofGiving — to help fuel our fight against gun violence in Wisconsin in 2020.

Here is how you can help us…

Become a Giving Tuesday Ambassador for WAVE

We are looking for WAVE supporters who would be willing to be Giving Tuesday “ambassadors” for us. Our Giving Tuesday ambassadors have two responsibilities:

1. Pledging to donate to WAVE on December 3rd

2a. Sharing posts on social media between November 26th and December 3, encouraging others to join you in donating to WAVE on Giving Tuesday. You can use the tools below, including the graphics, for your posts. You can also write your own stories about how WAVE has impacted you.


2b. If you do not use social media, please tell us your stories about how WAVE has impacted you for us to share on our social media platforms.

Youth Ambassadors

Young people, you can make a huge impact on gun violence prevention even if you cannot afford to donate monetarily yet.

You can share posts on social media between November 26th and December 3, encouraging others to donate to WAVE on your behalf on Giving Tuesday. We will provide you with graphics and suggested language for your posts. You can also write your own stories about how WAVE has impacted you.

Please email me at jacey@waveedfund.org to let me know if you would like to help us out in this way.

Social Media Tools for Giving Tuesday Ambassadors

Create a Facebook Fundraiser

Use this link: https://www.facebook.com/fund/WaveEdFund/


Feel free to use (copy/paste, drag/drop) the images below in your social media posts for Giving Tuesday.


The purpose of your social media post is to help us fundraise. A huge way to motivate others to give is to tell them why you are giving and how their donation can help create a safer Wisconsin.


Use the hashtags, #MyGivingStory, #WAVEofGiving, and #GivingTuesday to share how and why you give back. Let others know about WAVE’s impact to inspire their generosity. Plus, if you upload your story to mygivingstory.givingtuesday.org between November 1st and December 3rd , you could win $10,000 to give to your nonprofit of choice (hopefully WAVE)! Share your giving story on social media and ask your friends to vote for your story on https://mygivingstory.givingtuesday.org!

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Preventing Suicide Through Sensible Policy

Extreme Risk Protective Orders (ERPO) Save Lives

How does ERPO Work?

ERPO gives families and law enforcement officers a way to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit an at-risk person from purchasing or possessing a gun. ERPO is a non-criminal process that involves a court hearing and clearly defined due process protections.

How can ERPO help save lives?

  • ERPO is effective because guns present a uniquely lethal risk in cases of attempted suicide
    • 90% of suicide attempts using a gun are fatal, compared to 5% of most common alternative methods (Azrael, Miller)
  • Suicidal acts are often impulsive and fleeting and, thus, preventing access to the most lethal means is crucial
  • Saving someone’s life in the near-term will likely save that person’s life in the long-term
    • Just 10% of those who survive a suicide attempt go on to die from suicide later (Owens, et al)

How are suicide and gun violence related?

  • Every day 65 Americans commit suicide using a gun (CDC)
  • In 2019 more than half (51%) of all suicide deaths in Wisconsin involved guns (CDC)
  • Over 70% of all gun deaths in Wisconsin are deaths due to suicide (CDC)

Is suicide a unique problem in Wisconsin?

  • The suicide rate in Wisconsin was higher than the national average in 2017 (15.45 people vs 14 people per 100,000 people) (AFSP)
  • 848 people in Wisconsin died from suicide in 2019 (AFSP)
  • Teen suicide in Wisconsin has almost doubled since 2007 (CDC)

Does ERPO violate our Constitutional Rights (2nd Amendment, Due Process)?

No. The Supreme Court ruled in D.C. vs Heller that the 2nd Amendment allows for firearm restrictions that are “presumptively lawful.” Moreover, ERPO follows due process through the court system by allowing a judge to make an informed decision to temporarily remove firearms from people posing an imminent threat.

Isn’t law enforcement already removing firearms from people posing a threat?

Sometimes; but municipalities have been sued for this because they do not have the legal backing that ERPO provides. Meanwhile, Chapter 51, which is sometimes invoked by law enforcement, is more complex than ERPO and is often inadequate for providing safety to someone who is suicidal.


The epidemiology of case fatality rates for suicide in the northeast.
Matthew J. Miller, Deborah Azrael, David Hemenway. 2004

Fatal and non-fatal repetition of self-harm. Systematic review.
David Owens, Judith Horrocks, Allan House. 2002 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12204922

Suicide Statistics
American Society for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Fatal Injury Reports, National, Regional and State, 1981 – 2017
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WONDER Online Database, 1999-2019
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Photo Credit: Illustration by Brian Stauffer for Rolling Stone

wave2021Preventing Suicide Through Sensible Policy
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Policies to Save Lives

Overwhelmingly, Wisconsinites – from every part of the state – support commonsense gun violence prevention policies.

The following laws would help prevent gun violence in Wisconsin:

Require background checks on all gun sales.

  • In Wisconsin, federally licensed dealers are required to conduct a background check on all firearm sales, but private sellers are not. This private sale loophole allows just about anyone to sell a gun with no background check, no identification, and no questions asked.  Between 80% and 90% of Wisconsinites, including gun owners, support background checks on all gun sales. 
  • In the 10 years following Connecticut’s passage of its law requiring prospective handgun buyers to first get a permit – by passing a criminal background check – firearm homicides declined by 40%.[1]

Create a mechanism that allows for the temporary removal of guns when individuals are in imminent danger of harming themselves or others.

  • Often after a horrible act of violence, families say they saw warning signs – red flags – but there was nothing they could do.
  • An Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) gives families and law enforcement officers a way to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit an at-risk person from possessing a gun. The ERPO is a non-criminal process that involves a court hearing, as well as clearly defined due process protections.
  • When our loved ones are in crisis, they should have access to quality care, not guns.

Prohibit those with violent misdemeanor convictions from possessing firearms for 10 years. 

  • In Wisconsin, people with a long history of violence, such as assault and battery, can still buy guns.
  • Research shows that one of the strongest predictors of future violence is past violence. A study found that people who lawfully bought guns after being convicted of two or more violent misdemeanors were 15 times as likely to later be arrested for murder, rape or aggravated assault.[2]

[1] Rudolph, K., et al, “Association between Connecticut’s permit-to-purchase handgun law and homicides,” American Journal of Public Health, June 2015.

[2] Wintemute, G., et al, “Prior Misdemeanor Convictions as a Risk Factor for Later Violent and Firearm-Related Criminal Activity among Authorized Purchasers of Handguns,” JAMA, 1998.

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2019 Youth Summer Internship

Lakefront Street Action, July 3, 2019

Woah! It has been quite a summer!

WAVE’s eight 2019 youth summer interns, aged 15 to 19, were very busy advocating for gun violence prevention in Wisconsin.

Throughout the summer, the interns cultivated strong friendships with one another and developed skills that they will continue to use throughout their lives.

Examples of What We Did

Performed street actions to demand commonsense gun policies

  • Held up signs supporting gun violence prevention reforms at Lake Michigan on July 3rd, a day that attracts many people to the area for fireworks,
  • Protested (holding signs and chanting) outside Senator Ron Johnson’s Milwaukee office due to his dangerous voting history regarding gun violence prevention reforms, and
  • Led the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County on a street march in Madison with signs and chants.

Collected signatures and wrote a letter to demand policy change from lawmakers at the…

  • August Recess Rally,
  • Brewers Community Foundation kiosk at Miller Park,
  • Fondy Farmers Market, and
  • Milwaukee Public Market.

Empowered youth leaders through youth peace advocacy training at the…

  • All People’s Church Youth Music Activism Workshop,
  • Boys and Girls Club of Dane County,
  • Independence-First Youth Leadership Summit,
  • Oakland Cambridge Presbyterian Church, and
  • Peacemakers’ Day Camp.

Registered voters (especially in marginalized communities) at the…

  • All People’s Church Isaiah 55 Food Pantry,
  • Fondy Farmers Market,
  • Phongsavan Asian Market Health Fair,
  • Southeast Wisconsin YWCA,
  • WestCare Wisconsin E.A.T.S. Food Pantry, and
  • 2019 League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention and Exposition at the Wisconsin Center.

Collaborated and spread awareness with ally organizations, including…

  • All Peoples Church is a truly inclusive church that partners for justice and welcomes all people. All Peoples Church is outspoken in support of “Black Lives Matter,’ the LGBTQ community, and immigrants.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Dane County has a vision is to inspire and empower all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as responsible and caring adults.
  • Brewers Community Foundation harnesses the pride, passion, and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
  • Fondy Farmers Market is a diverse, nationally recognized leader in connecting low-income people with the benefits of farmers’ markets.
  • Independence-First has a mission to effectively facilitate the empowerment of diverse, multi-cultural individuals with disabilities. Independence-First values inclusion, access, empowerment, and independence for people with disabilities.
  • Indivisible Tosa takes effective action to make sure that Congress is paying attention to the voters.
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs.
  • March for Our Lives (Madison and Milwaukee chapters) harnesses the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives.
  • Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health, Inc. strives to build the capacity to address cancer health disparities through community engagement.
  • Milwaukee Friends Meeting (Quakers) is a witness for peace, equality, simplicity, and justice.
  • Moms Demand Action/Students Demand Action/Everytown for Gun Safety are fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
  • Northcott Neighborhood House strives to empower families to meet their survival needs and provide good parenting to their children; to provide a safe place for youth as well as recreational and skill-building activities; and to provide the neighborhood with space, activities, and the opportunity to engage in community building and crime prevention.
  • Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM) acts to inspire a dynamic collaboration that heals trauma and creates a resilient community.
  • Southeast Wisconsin YWCA is an organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
  • WestCare was founded to reclaim, rename, and rebuild the Harambee (meaning “Work Together – Pull Together” in Swahili) Neighborhood.
wave20212019 Youth Summer Internship
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Gun Violence Prevention Citizen Action Day

We Deserve To Be Heard

The majority of Wisconsin lawmakers have ignored the evidence, ignored their constituents, and ignored the devastation gun violence thrusts into the lives of Wisconsinites. It’s time for us to pack the Capitol full of citizens, who are united in their determination to prevent gun violence. 

Citizen Action Day Details:

Deserve To Be Heard on Thursday, October 24th, 2019
9:45am – 10am – Check-in at Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI
10am – 12:45pm – Orientation on gun violence in Wisconsin, training on citizen-lobbying best practices, and lunch at Bethel Lutheran Church
1:00pm – 3:00pm – Meetings with your elected officials or their staff members at the Capitol 

$15 fee includes your lunch and all training materials. 

Sign up to attend!

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