State Laws

Wisconsin Gun Laws


A majority of the United States allows state residents to carry concealed weapons on their persons. However the state of Wisconsin does not allow its residence to have concealed weapons, even with permits. Openly carrying a weapon is also illegal in Wisconsin and includes, government buildings, motor vehicles, school property, state parks, and establishments that sell alcohol.

Firearms must be at least one thousand feet from any kind of school property at all times, unless the property is private property. Open carry has previously been prosecuted as disorderly conduct, but as of April 2009, openly carrying a firearm is not considered to be disorderly conduct.

When firearms are inside motor vehicles the firearms must be encased in a carrying device and unloaded. The state of Wisconsin has attempted to pass "shall issue" laws but have failed twice with a governor veto with each occurrence.

The Rights for Possession
Individuals are not permitted to carry any form of firearm while they are drunk. It is also illegal under Wisconsin law to shoot a firearm within one hundred yards of a house without the necessary permission. When an individual misuses a firearm by pointing it at another or using it in a neglectful manner, it is classified as a severe offense.

Self-defense allows the usage of firearms when needed, but should be used only as a last resort. Under Wisconsin law 941.23 the carrying of a concealed weapon is considered to be a Class A Misdemeanor. Concealed guns are considered weapons and not firearms. This is contrasted to knives, which are classified as illegal, dangerous weapons.

Carrying a firearm into a government-owned or government-leased building is considered a Class A Misdemeanor under Wisconsin statute 941.235. Carrying a concealed weapon into an establishment that serves alcohol as its prime finance is also a Class A Misdemeanor under Wisconsin statute 941.237. Handguns are prohibited from carrying armor-piece ammunition. Wisconsin has pre-set laws that disallow individual cities from creating gun laws that are stricter than those of the state, according to Wisconsin statute 66.0409. Zoning regulations do not apply.

Crimes and Firearms
Crimes in Wisconsin can carry severe punishments, but when a firearm is used while committing a crime, the punishments will be more severe. Possessing a firearm in some instances will result in a felony offense. These instances include juvenile felony convictions, felony offense convictions, commitment to a mental institution and under order to not possess any kind of firearm, the ordering to not possess a firearm due to restraining order harassment, and being subject to a child-abuse or domestic-abuse restraining order with a designation to not possess a firearm. Providing a firearm for an individual who is prohibited from possessing firearms is also consider a felony offense.

Purchasing Firearms
Wisconsin stipulates a forty-eight-hour time period after a handgun has been purchased before the firearm may be released to the owner. Shotguns and rifles may also be purchased through FFL dealers as long as all state and federal laws are in compliance with the purchase.

See also:
Wisconsin Felony
Wisconsin Divorce
Wisconsin Bankruptcy Laws
Wisconsin Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Wisconsin Expungement External link (opens in new window)