Josh Kaul attorney general and Gov. Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers, center, and Attorney General Josh Kaul, left, announce a gun control bill Sept. 19 that would allow courts to remove guns from people who are found to pose an imminent threat.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and other Democrats have introduced a so-called “red flag” bill that would require people perceived as threats to surrender their firearms.

Evers, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul and legislative Democrats called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to take up gun control bills after dual mass shootings more than a month ago in Ohio and Texas that left 31 people dead.

Republican lawmakers, however, are unlikely to pass any of the legislation proposed and have so far ignored Democrats’ calls for increased gun control.

“I have consistently run for office and been elected on protecting and expanding Second Amendment rights,” Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, said in a statement. “I don’t intend to change that promise now.”

Democrats argued officials can no longer wait to take meaningful action to stem gun violence. While not currently a priority of his, Evers said he would consider a gun buyback program in which civilians must sell their privately owned guns to the government to reduce the number of firearms in circulation.

“Each and every day, elected officials choose to not take gun violence seriously,” Evers said. “That’s a choice that has consequences. It’s way past time to get something done.”

Evers told reporters he would “consider” a mandatory gun buyback program to reduce the number of firearms in the state.

His openness to the idea , floated recently by Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, drew immediate criticism from Republican leaders, who claimed Evers’ call for a red-flag law exposed a more “radical” agenda.

“Today, in a partial answer to a reporter’s question, Gov. Evers revealed Democrats’ real agenda: taking away firearms that are lawfully owned, which is unacceptable,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in a statement.

They also said red-flag legislation undermines due process and Second Amendment rights.

During the governor’s news conference, a reporter asked Evers if he would support a mandatory buyback program.

Evers first said he’s focused on red-flag and universal background check legislation, but when pressed, said he’s open to the idea of mandatory buybacks.

“I’d consider it, but my focus is on these two bills,” Evers said.

O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, turned heads during the presidential debate recently when he proclaimed, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” in arguing that guns meant for warfare should be banned. He called for a mandatory buyback of assault-style rifles to prevent gun violence after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso in early August.

A recent NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll found 46 percent of Americans oppose mandatory assault weapon buyback programs, while 45 percent support them. But it also showed 83 percent of Americans support universal background checks and 72 percent would back a national red-flag law.

Evers, echoing prior statements, said he’d call a special session of the Legislature to force lawmakers to consider gun control measures if they don’t act on their own within weeks. In a special session, the governor calls the Legislature into session and designates what bills he or she wants the Legislature to work on.

While lawmakers under this scenario may have to meet, they do not have to pass any legislation, so the impact of such a move is limited.

The red-flag bill, introduced by Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, and Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, comes a month after Democrats introduced a bill that would expand background checks to apply to private gun sales in the state.

Red-flag laws are also known as extreme risk protection orders. The bill by Sargent and Taylor would create a process for a law enforcement officer, family member or household member to petition a court to temporarily prevent a person perceived to be a threat to themselves or others from possessing a firearm.

A Wisconsin law already on the books prohibits the possession of a firearm by those under restraining orders or injunctions for domestic abuse, child abuse, harassment or elder abuse. In 2014, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed and then-Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that established a procedure to take guns from domestic abusers.

Fitzgerald previously said the combination of those laws “already qualifies” as a red-flag law, adding that he’d be open to considering ways to expand them.

Gun control advocates say red-flag laws have one clear advantage over laws that restrict gun possession by those subject to restraining orders: The entire focus of a red-flag court hearing is gun possession, while that factor is secondary in hearings for restraining orders.

Sargent said those found to have made a false claim against someone under a red-flag law could be subject to a felony charge.

“Red-flag laws — they won’t do everything, but they will save lives,” Taylor said.