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What Are Wisconsin’s Firearm Possession and Carry Laws?

 Posted on August 06, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha, WI criminal defense attorney weapons charges

When our government was created, the Founding Fathers’ intention was to limit the amount of power that any one person or group of people could have, which is why there are certain things that the federal government does not regulate, such as licensing drivers or certain aspects of gun ownership. While there are federal gun laws that citizens of all states must abide by, each state is also responsible for creating and enforcing its own firearm regulations. The state of Wisconsin tends to be more of a firearm-friendly state and has somewhat less strict laws than other states. However, violating firearm possession laws can lead to serious consequences if you find yourself facing criminal charges.

Open Carry Laws and Limitations

All states are different when it comes to carrying firearms in public. Some states may require you to obtain a permit simply just to purchase and/or carry your firearm. Like other states, Wisconsin is an open carry state, meaning anyone who is over the age of 18 and is legally permitted to possess a firearm can carry one in public as long as it is not concealed. There are limitations to that rule, however. You are prohibited from openly carrying a firearm in the following places in Wisconsin:

  • A police station, sheriff’s office, or state patrol station

  • A prison, jail, or any kind of correctional facility

  • Any secured unit or section of a mental health facility

  • County, state, or federal courthouses

  • Municipal courtrooms if a court is in session

  • Any area beyond a security checkpoint in an airport

  • Any area within the grounds or premises of a school

  • In a tavern or bar, unless you have a CCW license

  • On any property belonging to the U.S. government

Concealed Carry Laws

If the firearm is in any way concealed or hidden, you are required to have a valid concealed carry weapon (CCW) license to carry it in public. There are certain requirements you must meet to be eligible for a CCW license, however. These requirements include being over the age of 21, never having been convicted of a felony, and being legally permitted to possess a firearm under both state and federal laws. Wisconsin also requires all CCW licensees to provide proof that they have completed adequate training prior to receiving their CCW license.

Still, even if you do have a CCW license, this does not mean you have a free pass to carry your weapon wherever you would like. There are still certain places that firearms are not permitted. For example, any federal property is off-limits for concealed carry. Individual business owners, property owners, landlords, and even employers can also prohibit firearms from being present on their property, as long as proper signs are displayed. 

Contact a Waukesha County Criminal Defense Attorney

Both the Wisconsin state constitution and the Federal Constitution give citizens the right to possess and carry firearms, but there are limitations to those freedoms. If you have been charged with illegal firearm possession, you should immediately speak with a Brookfield weapons charges defense lawyer. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our team members have a variety of backgrounds and bring with them various points of view. As a former Brookfield police detective, Attorney Peter Wolff has a wide breadth of knowledge to use to your advantage when forming a solid defense. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today by calling 262-232-6699.




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