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Does Wisconsin Have “Red Flag” Laws That Restrict Gun Ownership?

Posted on in Criminal Law

waukesha criminal defense lawyerWhile the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that Americans have the right to bear arms, there are some cases where laws restrict people’s ability to own or possess weapons. Some states have passed what are known as “red flag” laws that make it illegal for certain people to own firearms or other types of weapons based on their criminal history or other issues that could potentially create a danger to others. People in Wisconsin will want to understand what types of weapons laws apply to them, and anyone who is facing weapons charges can work with an attorney to determine their options for defense.

Laws Addressing Firearm Ownership in Wisconsin

States that have implemented “red flag” laws may prohibit gun ownership for people who are considered a threat to other people or society at large. Usually, these laws allow for temporary restrictions in certain situations, such as when a person is accused of committing domestic violence. In many cases, only law enforcement officials are permitted to implement protective orders requiring a person to surrender their firearms. However, other people, such as a person’s spouse or family members, may be able to request these types of orders.

Currently, Wisconsin does not have “red flag” laws that allow for “extreme risk” protection orders that revoke a person’s right to own a firearm. However, if a person is subject to a restraining order based on accusations of domestic abuse, child abuse, or harassment, they will be required to surrender any firearms they own. If there is clear and convincing evidence that a person may use a weapon to harm someone else or endanger public safety, they may be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms while a restraining order is in effect. Those who have been convicted of felonies are also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, and these restrictions also apply to those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. Illegal possession of a firearm is a Class G felony.

In 2019, Governor Tony Evers called a special session of the Wisconsin legislature to address laws related to firearms. One of the issues to be considered was the creation of a “red flag” law that would allow law enforcement to temporarily revoke a person’s right to own a firearm if they were considered a threat to themselves or others. However, Republican legislators adjourned the session without passing this law or any other laws that would affect gun ownership. Opponents of the “red flag” law argued that it would violate people’s Second Amendment rights, as well as their right to due process. 

Contact Our Oconomowoc Weapons Charges Lawyers

While Wisconsin does not place as many restrictions on gun ownership as some other states, there are a variety of situations where a person could face criminal charges based on claims that they have violated weapons laws. At Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our lawyers can advise you of your rights regarding the ownership, possession, and use of firearms, and we can help you defend against weapons charges, including in cases involving concealed weapons violations. To set up a free consultation and receive the legal help you need, contact our Waukesha firearm charges defense attorneys at 262-232-6699.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lc/issue_briefs/2019/firearms/ib_red_flag_laws_ao_2019_10_01

https://www.wpr.org/republicans-bypass-governors-special-session-gun-laws

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/document/statutes/813.12

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/941/iii/29/1m

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