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Wisconsin Gun Laws: A Comprehensive Guide

As one of the states in the United States, Wisconsin has its own set of gun laws that govern the possession, sale, and transfer of firearms. These laws are constantly changing, so it is important to stay informed on the current regulations to ensure compliance. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to gun laws in Wisconsin.

Eligibility Requirements for Gun Ownership

In order to purchase or possess a firearm in Wisconsin, one must meet specific eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Being at least 18 years old for long guns and 21 years old for handguns
  • Not being convicted of a felony
  • Not being subject to a domestic abuse restraining order
  • Not being adjudicated mentally ill
  • Not being chemically dependent
  • Not being illegally in the United States

Background Checks for Gun Purchases

Before purchasing a firearm, the buyer must undergo a background check. In Wisconsin, background checks are conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or a Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) approved dealer. Private sales, including those conducted at gun shows, are also subject to background checks.

Prohibited Firearms

In Wisconsin, certain firearms are prohibited and cannot be owned, sold, or transferred. These include:

  • Automatic firearms
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Silencers
  • Armor-piercing ammunition
  • Ballistic knives

Concealed Carry Permits

In Wisconsin, a concealed carry permit is required to carry a concealed weapon in public. To obtain a concealed carry permit, one must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Complete a firearms training course
  • Pass a background check
  • Submit an application to the Wisconsin DOJ

Open Carry Laws

In Wisconsin, it is legal to openly carry a firearm in public as long as one is eligible to possess a firearm and the weapon is unloaded.

Storage Requirements

In Wisconsin, gun owners are responsible for securely storing their firearms to prevent unauthorized access. Failure to do so may result in criminal charges if the gun is used in the commission of a crime.

Use of Force in Self-Defense

In Wisconsin, an individual is justified in using force in self-defense if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another individual. The use of deadly force is only lawful in cases where the individual believes there is an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.


In conclusion, Wisconsin has a comprehensive set of gun laws that govern the possession, sale, and transfer of firearms. By staying informed on these regulations, gun owners can ensure compliance and avoid potential legal consequences. Whether you’re a new gun owner or a seasoned shooter, understanding the gun laws in your state is an important part of responsible firearms ownership.

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