What Are Wisconsin Open Carry Laws?
Open carry is legal in the state of Wisconsin for any citizen that is at least 18 years old and not barred from possessing a firearm under state or federal laws. Wisconsin gun laws are enforced at the state level, and concealed weapons licenses are dispersed through the Department of Justice.
Licenses may only be given to residents of Wisconsin. Any person not classified as a Wisconsin resident may not receive a license. There are no laws that require firearm registration, nor is it a requirement to conduct a background check for private gun sales.
Can You Carry a Gun in Your Vehicle in Wisconsin?
The state Supreme Court of Wisconsin ruled on April 10, 2018, that if you have a valid permit in the state, you are allowed to carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle. The law continues to say that you are prohibited from coming within 1,000 feet of a school if the gun is loaded. Federal law permits you within 1,000 feet if the gun is unloaded and safely secured.
You also must carry the CWL Permit in order to carry a firearm in your vehicle. The CWL permit has a list of requirements that must be met which include:
- Be 21 years of age
- Proof of substantial training
- Not barred from possessing a firearm
- A resident of Wisconsin
- Not a convicted felon
- Not committed to treatment that bars you from owning a firearm
- Not committed a crime that would be considered a felony by reason of mental illness, insanity, or disease
Notifying an Officer
Wisconsin gun laws do not require you to disclose to a police officer that you carry a firearm. The law does require you to show identification upon request. Furthermore, Wisconsin law states, "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."
No Weapons Signage
Wisconsin law allows for "No Weapons" signs. In the event one of these is posted, you are legally required to remove your firearms from your possession. Failure to comply with private properties or businesses with this signage will result in legal penalties.
It is illegal to carry without a permit or license.
Places You CANNOT Carry a Firearm
- Police stations
- Prisons and jails
- Secured mental health wards
- Courthouses at the county, state, and federal level
- A municipal court when a court is in session
- Within a 1,000 foot radius of a school or school property
Places You CAN Carry a Firearm
- State parks
- National forests
- Roadside rest stops
- Any other area of the state that is not explicitly determined as off-limits
It is not required by Wisconsin law to have a background check on the private sale of a gun. The law advises you to keep all receipts of your gun purchases to have proof of ownership. You are not required to get a purchase permit, nor do you have to register your gun.
How Long a License is Valid
Concealed weapons licenses are effective for five years unless privileges are revoked before that time. Your license must be renewed following the five-year marker.
If you have been charged with a gun crime in Wisconsin, it's crucial that you seek legal counsel immediately. When your freedom is on the line, it's not worth the risks. Our Milwaukee Weapons Crime Lawyers are highly experienced in this area of the law and have helped many others clear their names of charges. Let us see what we can do for you.