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Scott Walker to sign new gun rights laws in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Wednesday will sign into law two bills expanding gun rights in his state, at a time when national Democrats are calling for more restrictions on firearms in the wake of a mass shooting in South Carolina.

In a ceremony at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office, Walker will sign into law a bill that removes a 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases in Wisconsin and another that allows off-duty police officers to carry concealed weapons on public school grounds.

{mosads}Walker’s office notes that the bill signing has been in the works for weeks. It was first announced on June 11, long before last week’s shooting in Charleston, S.C., reignited debate over the nation’s gun laws.

The Wisconsin governor, who will instantly become a top-tier contender for the Republican presidential nomination when he officially enters the race next month, has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.

Walker has previously signed a law allowing for the concealed carry of firearms and a law that establishes the “castle doctrine,” protecting homeowners that shoot intruders.

He has also boasted about his gun rights advocacy on the campaign trail. At the NRA’s annual summit in Nashville in April, Walker chastised President Obama for not defending the Second Amendment, saying “you don’t get to choose the part of the Constitution you support.”

The debate over the nation’s gun laws has reemerged after a 21-year-old white man allegedly shot and killed nine African-Americans at a black church in Charleston, S.C.

In the days after the shooting, prominent Democrats from President Obama on down have lamented the lack of gun restrictions they say would prevent further deaths.

Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has aggressively lobbied for action on gun control in the wake of the shooting, calling for expansions on background checks and rules to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) are considering reviving the legislation they pushed for expanded background checks on gun purchases in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in late 2012.

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