Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in the Badger State below.

Getting a Concealed Carry Permit

Open carry is legal in Wisconsin for any person who is at least 18 years and not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state and federal laws. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Wisconsin Concealed Weapons License (CWL) and for non-residents with a license/permit from a state that Wisconsin honors. CWLs are only issued to residents and military personnel stationed in the state. Applicants must be 21 or older, have completed a firearms training course and meet other criteria. In terms of reciprocity, Wisconsin will honor permits from states it has reciprocity agreements with as well as from states that require a background check comparable to the check conducted under Wisconsin law.

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. There is also no mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases or magazine-capacity restrictions. Wisconsin prohibits the possession or use of armor-piercing bullets during the commission of a crime.

A concealed carry permit is required to carry a stun gun or Taser outside of a person’s home or property. Any non-felon at least 18 years old or a minor who has permission of a parent or guardian may purchase or possess, without a license, devices with specific types of pepper spray for self-defense or defense of another.

Where Can One Carry Concealed?

In terms of locations where a concealed handgun may be carried, anyone with a Wisconsin CWL or a license/permit from a state that Wisconsin honors may concealed carry a handgun in a vehicle, but not in or on the grounds of a school. On April, 10, 2018, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a person must have a permit that is valid in Wisconsin to carry a concealed loaded handgun within reach in a vehicle. There is no duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you’re carrying a concealed firearm unless the officer asks. Any valid concealed carry license holder can concealed carry at roadside rest areas.

Other areas where permit holders can carry concealed are:

  • A restaurant or bar (unless posted and provided you consume no alcohol)
  • State/national parks
  • State/national forests
  • Wildlife Management Areas
  • Places of worship (unless the place of worship is on the grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school that provides an educational program for one or more grades between the first and 12th grades. Since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms)

Locations where concealed carry is prohibited, even for permit holders, include:

  • School grounds of elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools and senior high schools (except a gun that is not loaded and is encased or in a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle)
  • All universities in the University of Wisconsin system (except with the written approval of the chief administrative officer)
  • Police stations, sheriff’s offices or state patrol stations
  • Prisons, jails, houses of correction or secured correctional facilities
  • Mental health facilities for sexually violent persons
  • The Wisconsin Resource Center
  • Secured units of a mental health institute, including a facility designated as the Maximum Security Facility at the Mendota Mental Health Institute
  • County, state and federal courthouses
  • Municipal courtrooms if court is in session
  • Beyond security checkpoints in an airport
  • Offices of the Wisconsin State Capitol Police or in the Supreme Court (legislative offices throughout the Wisconsin State Capitol building can choose whether to post a sign on their doors to signify that firearms are not allowed in their offices)
  • Anywhere while under the influence of an intoxicant
  • Any business, residential or non-residential property, state or local government office, college or university that is posted or where verbal notice has been given (although weapons can be stored in vehicles in parking areas)
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law

Visit the USCCA Wisconsin gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.