Wisconsin Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, adults can purchase a gun without a license, and may openly carry most weapons without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body, unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your place of business. (Wi. Stat. Ann. § 941.23(2)(e).) For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Wisconsin.

How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License in Wisconsin

To obtain a concealed handgun license, you must apply at the sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • be a resident of Wisconsin
  • not be prohibited under federal or Wisconsin law from possessing a firearm
  • show proof of successful completion of a firearm safety and training course
  • submit a license fee, and
  • submit a background check fee.

(Wi. Stat. Ann. § 175.60.)

Does Wisconsin Recognize Concealed Handgun Licenses From Other States?

Yes. Wisconsin recognizes out-of-state licenses, as long as:

  • the permit holder is at least 21 years old
  • is not a Wisconsin resident, and
  • holds a valid concealed carry license from any state with which Wisconsin has a reciprocity agreement.

(Wi. Stat. Ann. § 175.60(1)(g).)

The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s website provides a list of states with reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License

It is a Class A misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in Wisconsin without a concealed carry license (unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your fixed place of business). Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to nine months in jail, or both.

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Wisconsin, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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