Gun Laws in Wisconsin

Here is a basic summary of Wisconsin’s gun laws (From Wikipedia)

Note: This is only a basic overview, and is not legal advice, nor should it be used to replace legal advice.  If you want legal advice, you could try contacting Witt Law Offices.

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Yes 1:25 “The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 66.0409
State Permit to Purchase? No No 175.35 48 hour waiting period on handguns
Concealed carry license issued? No Yes 175.60 Permit is given on a shall-issue basis. May carry openly without a license (except in taxpayer-owned buildings & school zones).
Open carry permitted? Yes Yes Open carry of loaded handguns and long guns is permitted without a license. If carrying openly in a vehicle, it must be “visible to ordinary observation” in order not to be considered concealed (needing a license).
Castle Doctrine/Self Defense Statutes Yes 895.62 Immunity from prosecution and civil damages in the home, with conditions and exceptions
939.48 No duty to retreat in the “dwelling” or owned/operated place of business. No deadly force solely to protect property. 3rd party protection. If attack is provoked, self defense may only be used if reasonable belief of imminent death or great bodily harm. If attack is provoked deadly force only allowed if all other reasonable means of avoidance exhausted.
940.01 “the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts constituting the defense did not exist in order to sustain a finding of guilt”
Firearm registration? No No
“Assault weapon” law? No No
Magazine restrictions? No No
Owner license required? No No 941.29
NFA weapons restricted? Machine Guns restricted, exceptions apply 941.298941.26 Silencers, SBR, and SBS allowed if NFA rules followed, otherwise felony

From the NRA-ILA:


These states recognize Wisconsin permits:

  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont

Wisconsin recognizes permits from:

  • Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia (non-resident permits), Washington, West Virginia (only if permit issued after 6/8/12), Wyoming

*Note: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. This summary does not include federal or local laws, ordinances or regulations. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation. YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.