(WFRV)--Under Wisconsin law, anyone charged with a felony, has a restraining order against them, has a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence, has a history of mental health disorder, or is a fugitive cannot buy a gun.
Buyers purchasing a gun from a private vendor do not have to undergo a criminal check--so if they've committed a crime there's no way of knowing.
But President Obama wants to change that and require universal background checks for all gun sales.
Sheriff Bradley Gehring of the Outagamie Sheriff's Department said, "With a weapon they're going to be put in a situation where they have to make instantaneous reactions and response to make whatever threat they come across."
Police officers not only have to complete 540 hours of training and undergo extensive background checks before being given their badge and weapon but they are also required to pass a psychological exam.David B. Zibolski the Deputy Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Justice said, "There's no time limit that's set on it by statute by rule whatever those courses are as long as they have to deal with firearm training."
Recent polls show 9 out of 10 gun owners support background checks.
Even 74% of NRA members say they're in support of it as well.
And some officers feel if civilians were required to undergo criminal history checks, guns would remain in the hands of responsible citizens.
Outagamie Police Lieutenant Chris Proietti said, "I have to know how are they going to accept that responsibility. It's not as easy as saying I've been trained for it because the school taught me this way. I know what to do now."
"The mental health component demonstrated with all the shooting that we've had lately is a huge part of that. I think it has to be part of the component addressed at the table when this legislation comes around," said Sheriff Gehring.
In a 6 month period, the Outagamie Sheriff's Department receives up to 200 applicants.
Only 10 make it to the final interview rounds and only 1 applicant will be offered a job on the force.
When asked if the process would be as extensive if officer's didn't carry guns. Lt. Proiette said, "I think the factor would change dramatically. Simply because that's a huge responsibility once we say here's your badge, here's your I.D. and here's your weapon."
Since 2011, the Department of Justice has processed 162,000 conceal carry permits and very few are denied. It only takes 10 days for an application to be approved.
"We're getting them out in 10 days. We have 21 days by statute but we've leveraged a lot of proficiencies since the start of the process," said Zibolski with the DOJ.
Because the Sheriff's Department is legally liable for their officers, they say the process to get their badge is much more extensive than a civilian.
For a civilian, once they're given a gun, only they are legally responsible for their actions.