State Law Background
Among other things, Wisconsin:
- Performs its own background checks on handgun sales at licensed dealers, rather than relying on the FBI;
- Has set out a process for the surrender of firearms by perpetrators of domestic violence;
- Imposes some regulations on handgun dealers; and
- Requires mental health records be sent to the database used for firearm purchaser background checks.
However, in 2011, Wisconsin enacted a law requiring law enforcement to issue a license to carry a concealed firearm in public to any individual who meets certain basic requirements. In addition, Wisconsin does not:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private, unlicensed parties;
- Require a waiting period for firearms sales;
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales; or
- Provide local governments with authority to regulate firearms.
In 2015, Wisconsin’s gun death rate moved up five places from the 10th lowest number of gun deaths per capita in 2014 to the 16th lowest in 2015. In addition, based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2009, Wisconsin had the 14th lowest rate of crime gun exports among the states – meaning that crime guns originally sold in Wisconsin were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 14th lowest rate among the states.
Wisconsin Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Wisconsin, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.