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Milwaukee — Gov. Scott Walker is defending the timing of a ceremony to sign two bills loosening Wisconsin’s gun laws, saying they were scheduled before nine people were shot and killed last week in a South Carolina church.

Walker also said pulling back on Wednesday’s ceremony at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office “would have given people the erroneous opinion” the measures “had anything to do with what happened in Charleston.”

He said the event had been scheduled June 11. The shooting happened a week ago.

One bill Walker signed eliminates the state’s 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases. The other allows retired officers to carry guns on school property.

Walker was joined by Republican lawmakers and families that supported the measures, which had bipartisan support in passing the Legislature earlier this month.

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