The gun laws in Wisconsin dictate how citizens can use, sell, purchase and transfer ownership of firearms in the state. Wisconsin’s Constitution protects the rights of residents to bear arms for any legal purpose. The state retains the rights to all gun laws and forbids counties from making their own gun laws that would override state ordinances. Wisconsin is a “Shall Issue” state for concealed carry. As long as you are at least 18 years old, open carry is permitted in Wisconsin. Wisconsin also honors the “Castle Doctrine” which states that a man’s home is his castle and he has the legal right to protect it and his family with force if necessary. You can carry handguns openly or concealed on boats. However, when on a boat long guns must be unloaded. You cannot carry on aircraft unless it is your own, on your own property. A background check is not required when selling privately. As long as you register it with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE), you can own a machine gun in Wisconsin. There are currently 328,907 gun permits in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.
Reciprocity agreements between states make it easier for gun owners to travel with their firearms across state borders. These twenty-nine states honor a Wisconsin gun permit
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Wisconsin honors these forty-two state’s gun permits
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These twenty states will not honor a Wisconsin gun license, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice issues concealed carry permits to residents only. Wisconsin is a “Shall Issue” state. Open carry is legal for anyone 18 or older. You are not legally able to carry in any sheriff’s office, police station, mental health center, courthouse, airport, municipal building, resource center or any school grounds or buses. You can, however, carry in state parks, wildlife preserves, your vehicle and rest areas. You do have to have a permit to carry concealed in your vehicle, as of April 2018. You do not need to notify an officer if you are carrying, but you must honor all “no weapons” signs. You do have the legal right to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. Wisconsin does not issue licenses to non-residents.
When applying for a concealed carry permit, you must be 21 years old and prove that you have taken an approved firearms training course. You must show you are a resident and have a valid driver’s license. You must not be legally restricted to own a firearm. You cannot be convicted of any felonies. The permit costs $40 and lasts for five years. You can file your application by mail or online.
Wisconsin is a “point of contact” but only for handgun purchases and licensed dealers must contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for a background check when selling handguns. Long guns are subject to federal law, and the dealer must contact the FBI and use NCIS for a full background check. Private sales are not subject to a background check. There is a 48-hour waiting period to buy guns in Wisconsin.
|Permit type||Fees when getting a new permit||Renewal||Current license amendment||Fingerprint scan fee||Fee for firearm classes||Additional state fees|
|Carrying concealed weapon license||$30.00||$12.00||$60 - $65||$10 criminal history record check fee|
|State parks||Police station, sheriff’s office, state patrol station|
|State and national forests||Prison, jail, house of correction, or secured correctional facility|
|Road side rest areas||Secure mental health facility for sexually violent Persons|
|Vehicle||Wisconsin Resource Center|
|All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden||Secured unit of a mental health institute, including a facility designated as the Maximum Security Facility at Mendota Mental Health Institute|
|County, state, or federal courthouse|
|Municipal courtroom if court is in session|
|Beyond a security checkpoint in an airport|
|School grounds or within 1000 feet of a school|
|Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law|
|Monday – Friday:||9:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Address:||Wisconsin Department of Justice|
17 W. Main St.
|City:||Madison, WI 53703|
Physical Address: 17 W. Main St. Madison, WI 53703 Mailing Address: Wisconsin Department of Justice P.O. Box 7857 Madison, WI 53707