Wisconsin is not a constitutional carry state. The state has a shall-issue policy for the application of gun permits and will issue to residents that meet all application requirements. The permit processing is carried out by the state Justice Department.

You do not need to complete a criminal record background check to purchase firearms from private dealers and gun shows in the state. However, to purchase firearms from federally licensed dealers in the state, you have to complete all the necessary procedures.

Possession of Firearms in Wisconsin

To open carry in the state you must be at least eighteen years old without any federal or state prohibition for the possession of a firearm. Wisconsin is a permissive open carry state, and you do not need the state license to use your firearm openly. The state prohibits machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns. You cannot manufacture, possess, or buy these firearms in Wisconsin. However, there are exceptions for federally licensed owners, law enforcement officers, and members of the National guard.

Conceal carry on the other hand is only valid for residents that own a Wisconsin gun permit and for non-residents with an out-of-state permit that Wisconsin will accept. Military members posted to the state for official duties are also allowed to apply for the gun permit. The age requirement to apply for the permit is a minimum of twenty-one years old, and you must complete a firearm training class. Wisconsin will only accept permits from states and regions in the US that have reciprocity deals and those that require the completion of a criminal record check and follow the same procedure as Wisconsin gun laws.

Wisconsin prohibits the possession of firearms under the influence of alcohol or any restricted substance. Gun laws of the state define under the influence of alcohol as any substance such that when ingested impairs a person’s judgment of using or handling firearms.

If you have the right to hunt in Wisconsin, you can open carry while doing so. For bow hunting, it is illegal to make use of firearms except they are concealed, and you have a state permit to carry.

You can possess firearms in your private vehicle if you have a Wisconsin gun permit or anyone from a state that it recognizes. However, the license does not mean you can possess firearms in off-limit areas.

On the 4th of October in 2018, Wisconsin supreme court gave a verdict that to carry firearms in a private vehicle, a person must have a valid license recognized in Wisconsin. However, without a permit, you cannot conceal carry a loaded firearm in a private vehicle.

You can conceal carry firearms in roadside areas if you have a Wisconsin pistol permit or anyone from a state it reciprocates. According to gun laws of the state, you can possess firearms in these areas of the state if you have a Wisconsin gun permit or anyone from a state it reciprocates.

Any type of business organization in Wisconsin can prohibit the possession of firearms within its premises as long as there is a post communicating such info, or a verbal warning. Therefore, individual hotels in the state can develop gun policies for the possession of firearms in their facilities.

In Wisconsin, employers cannot prohibit a legally licensed employee from storing or possessing firearms or ammunition in his or her vehicle parked in a designated area of the state, regardless of if the car is for employment reasons.

Places Where You Cannot Possess Firearms in Wisconsin

Gun laws in Wisconsin prohibit the possession of firearms, open carry, and concealed carry, in some areas of the state. Being a license holder does not mean you can possess firearms in these restricted locations. And the state may charge you with a misdemeanor if you are found with firearms in these areas.

However, exceptions may be made for gun law enforcement officers, peace officers, and members of the national guard in the state.

  • You cannot open carry or possess firearms in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, and universities.
  • It is illegal to possess firearms in buildings owned or used for operations by a sheriff, or the police.
  • Possession of firearms is illegal in Wisconsin prisons, jails, and other detention homes.
  • You cannot open carry or possess firearms in facilities for mentally impaired people in Wisconsin.
  • It is a prohibition to possess firearms or open carry in any state court or county court premises, or during proceedings.
  • You cannot possess firearms in any legislative building or office in the state, especially one that has a post prohibiting firearms.
  • You cannot possess firearms while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant.
  • It is illegal to possess firearms in any building, either privately or government-owned, as long as there is a post prohibiting firearms, or there is a verbal notice against the possession of such weapons in the premises.
  • You cannot possess firearms in areas prohibited by federal laws.

Application of Gun Permits in Wisconsin

To apply for gun permits in the state you must first complete a Wisconsin-approved firearm training conducted by a state-certified instructor. You can either submit the application via mail or download it from the website and submit it online.

The documents required for processing your application include A completed application with the correct signature appended on it, your residential address for mailing, a Wisconsin driver’s license or your identification number, certificate to prove you completed firearm training. You also have to pay the required fee of forty dollars.

After the processing period, you will get a mail notifying you about your application status. For the renewal permit process, you can begin the application at least one hundred and twenty days before the expiry date of your permit.

Wisconsin gun license is valid for five years after which you have to apply for a renewal. You have a grace of ninety days until after the permit expires to renew your application. If the ninety days’ elapses, and you do not renew the permit, the license becomes invalid. And you have to apply for an initial permit all over again. If you are going to renew your permit within the ninety days after the expiry date, you cannot conceal carry a firearm with the permit after it expires.

Only non-residents that are members of the military posted to the state can apply for a Wisconsin pistol permit. The process is similar to that of residents of the state.

For a change of name or address, you can complete a replacement form online, and there is no charge for this as long as you do not request a new license. For a damaged permit, you can use your license number to request a replacement permit and submit it via mail. If it is a damaged permit, you have to return it.

For missing or stolen permits, you will need a new license. The cost for this is twelve dollars, and you have to complete a criminal record check again.

If you are a new resident that just moved to Wisconsin, you must first obtain a driver’s license or a state identification card. Upon establishing residency in Wisconsin, your pistol permit becomes invalid and expires automatically regardless of the expiry date.

Requirements for the Application of Gun Permits in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a shall-issue state and has the obligation to approve any gun permit application as long as the applicant meets all requirements.

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old before you apply for Wisconsin gun permits.
  • Before applying for a Wisconsin pistol license, you must provide a driver’s license or an identification card except you are a member of the military.
  • You must complete a state-licensed firearm training and have a certificate to show for it.
  • You must not have a court order prohibiting you from the purchase of firearms in the state.
  • You must not be a convicted felon in Wisconsin, or you must not be guilty of a crime considered a felony in any jurisdiction of the country.
  • You must not be guilty of juvenile delinquency regarded as a felony crime if committed by an adult.
  • You must not be a patient for any illness such that you are under strict orders against the possession of firearms.
  • You must meet all federal requirements for the possession of firearms in the country.

Is Constitutional Carry Wisconsin Permitted in Some Parts of the State?

Wisconsin is a preemption gun law state, and the government reserves all right to regulate the use of firearms in the state

Preemption gun laws in Wisconsin prohibit local areas from creating ordinances and enacting gun laws for the transportation, possession, purchase, sales, licensing, and taxation of firearms and their components in the state.

This implies that permitless carry in Wisconsin is prohibited in all parts of the state.

However, counties, municipalities, and districts may regulate the possession of firearms in some parts of the states like parks, public places. They may also prohibit the discharge of firearms in some areas, for safety reasons.

Additional Resources

Wisconsin Gun Laws
Wisconsin Concealed Carry Laws
Wisconsin Open Carry Laws
Wisconsin Gun Permit Laws

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