Handgun dealers in Wisconsin are required to retain the original copy of each notification form completed by a transferee, records showing each confirmation number that the state Department of Justice (DOJ) issued to the dealer, and the approval or non-approval number that corresponds with each confirmation number.1 Dealers must keep these records available for inspection by a DOJ employee or designee during the dealer’s normal business hours and as otherwise reasonably requested.2

Wisconsin requires the DOJ to destroy records of any handgun transfer if the sale was approved and nothing in the record indicates that the transfer may be prohibited, within 30 days of receipt of such record.3 Notwithstanding this provision, DOJ may maintain a log of dates of requests for record searches of firearm restrictions together with confirmation numbers, unique approval and non-approval numbers, and firearms dealer identification numbers corresponding to those dates.4 Within three years after DOJ issues a unique approval number, the department must destroy all corresponding information contained in the log.5

DOJ must provide access to any records related to handgun transfer transactions to a Wisconsin law enforcement agency request, in writing, involving an investigation where the handgun was used, attempted to be used, or unlawfully possessed, and the agency has a reasonable suspicion that the subject of the information request has obtained or is attempting to obtain a handgun.6 The agency making the request to DOJ must eventually communicate that fact to the subject of the request, either after this person is found no longer material to the investigation, the investigation has concluded, or one year has transpired since the agency made its initial request.7

See our Retention of Firearm Sales and Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2j). Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.10(1)(a), (b). ⤴︎
  2. Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.10(1)(c). ⤴︎
  3. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2k)(ar). Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.10(2)(c). ⤴︎
  4. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2k)(b)(2). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2k)(c). ⤴︎
  7. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2k)(d). ⤴︎