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Wisconsin Gun Laws

Wisconsin has some of the most extensive gun laws in the country. If you are a gun owner or considering buying a gun, it is important that you fully understand the state’s gun policies to stay in line with the law.

Although laws are extensive, you do have a right to own and carry a gun in Wisconsin. For more information about gun laws, contact the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.

Wisconsin Open Carry Laws

In Wisconsin, concealed carry is completely prohibited. Only open carry is legal, except in areas where it is explicitly prohibited, including:

  • Vehicles
  • Government buildings
  • Schools
  • Establishments that sell liquor for on-site consumption
  • Any area within 1,000 feet of school property (unless the gun-holder is on private property)

For a time, certain jurisdictions within the state attempted to prosecute those who properly followed the open carry laws by charging them with disorderly conduct. However, in April 2009, the Wisconsin attorney general’s office stated that open carry was not disorderly conduct, and ordered officials in these jurisdictions to stop treating it in this manner.

Since open carry is prohibited inside a vehicle, gun-carriers must follow a different set of rules in order to legally carry a gun inside a vehicle. If a firearm is to be carried in a vehicle, it must be:

  • Unloaded. Unloaded is defined by Statute 167.31 as “having no shell or cartridge in the chamber of a firearm or in the magazine attached to a firearm.”
  • Encased. Statute 167.31 states that the firearm must be “enclosed in a case that is expressly made for the purpose of containing a firearm and that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed.”
  • Placed out of reach of the driver

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Lawyer

Although laws are extensive, you do have a right to own and carry a gun in Wisconsin. For more information about gun laws, contact the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.