Wisconsin only issues conceal carry licenses for residents, with no option for non-residents. Wisconsin is one of the few states which doesn’t require firearm registration, limits on magazine capacity, or background checks for purchasing firearms.
Open carry is legal for anyone 18 or older and who aren’t prevented from possessing a firearm.
Wisconsin Gun Laws Quick Facts
❌ No - Wisconsin is not considered a constitutional carry state, because they require permits for concealed carry.
Open Carry Permitted?
✅ Yes - Wisconsin allows open carry without a permit so long as the individual is 18 or older and is legally allowed to own a firearm.
Carry In Vehicle?
✅ Yes - Wisconsin allows for concealed carry within a vehicle so long as you have the CWL (concealed weapons license) or a permit from a recognized state Wisconsin has reciprocity with. If you do not have a CWL, you must not concealed your handgun in anyway which means you must have the handgun above the window where it can be viewed from anyone outside the vehicle.
Carry In State Park?
✅ Yes - Wisconsin allows for carry within their state parks with a valid CWL or a permit from a reciprocal state.
Carry In Restaurants?
✅ Yes - Wisconsin allows for concealed carry within restaurants and bars so long as you have the CWL or a permit from a recognized state, and you must not be intoxicated whatsoever.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
✅ Yes - Wisconsin recognizes no weapons signs as having the force of law. If a property has posted and requested no firearms then you must respect their request.
Must Notify Officer?
❌ No - Wisconsin is not a duty to inform state however you must provide a truthful answer if an LEO asks.
States Honoring CCW
* Restricted Reciprocity with Wisconsin
States NOT Honoring CCW
Honors These States CCW Permits
Wisconsin will honor all non-resident permits from the states they honor provided the holder of the permit is at least 21 years old. More information on reciprocity can be found at the state website.
Wisconsin: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- All areas of the state – except those listed as off limits
Places Not Allowed
- Building that is a police station, sheriff’s office, state patrol station.
- Prison, jail, house of correction, or secured correctional facility.
- Secure mental health facility for sexually violent Persons.
- Wisconsin Resource Center.
- 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. This applies to elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school, or high school- public or private. You can be within 1000ft of a school if you have a CCW license.
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Wisconsin: Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, open carry is legal without a license if you are at least 18 years old and allowed to possess a firearm.
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, the Wisconsin Supreme Court on 4/10/18 ruled that a person must have a permit that is valid in Wisconsin to carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle. If you do not have a permit you can still carry a handgun in a vehicle if it is visible. That means above the window line and not concealed in any manner.
The Law 167.31 948.605
Carry In State Parks
Yes, you are permitted to carry in the following areas:
- State Parks: YES – DNR FAQs for firearms and 29.089
- State/National Forests: YES – DNR FAQs for firearms
- State Wildlife Management Areas: YES – DNR FAQs for firearms and 29.091
- Road Side Rest Areas: YES
Carry In Restaurants
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol “Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. In Wisconsin any person can legally carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol, even if there is a bar in the restaurant. If you enter an establishment that makes more than 51% of its income from selling alcohol such as a bar or tavern you are required to have a CWL license. However, if you have a CWL then you are not permitted to drink in these establishments.
No, Wisconsin is not regarded as a constitutional carry state however it does have permitless carry if the weapon is carried openly.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
Yes, Wisconsin gun laws give the force of law to “No Weapons” signs. There are legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. To be legally enforceable the signs must be 5″x 7″ and clearly state the type of gun and carry that is prohibited.
Must Notify Officer
No, nothing in Wisconsin gun laws say that you need to disclose to a police officer that you are carrying a concealed weapon. However, if the officer requests documentation then the law says you must show him your license and photo ID.
“A licensee shall have with him or her, during all times he or she is carrying a concealed weapon, his or her license document, photographic identification card, and, if the licensee is a military resident, his or her military license.”