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 2017, Wisconsin’s had the 12th lowest gun death rate among the states. Wisconsin also supplied crime guns to other states at the 15th 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.