Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a concealed carry permit varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Wisconsin Concealed Weapons License (CWL) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether permits include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, permit duration, permit costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

Wisconsin is a shall-issue state where concealed carry licenses are issued at the state level by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law.

Open carry is legal for any person that is 18 years or older 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 Wisconsin. Applicants must be 21 or older, have completed a firearms concealed carry training class and meet other criteria.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry permit/permit as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the Permit Requirements in Wisconsin?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Provide a current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card or be active military stationed in Wisconsin
  • Provide proof that you have completed a firearms safety training course
  • Not be prohibited by a court order from possessing a firearm
  • Not have been convicted of a felony in Wisconsin or convicted of a crime elsewhere that would be a felony if convicted in Wisconsin
  • Not have been adjudicated delinquent for an act committed on or after April 21, 1994, that if committed by an adult in Wisconsin would be a felony
  • Not have been committed to treatment and ordered not to possess a firearm
  • Not have been found not guilty or not responsible for a crime elsewhere that would be a felony in this state by reason of insanity or mental illness, disease or defect
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in Wisconsin?

Training is required to obtain a CWL. It can be satisfied by providing a certificate from any of the following:

  • A hunter education program
  • A current or expired concealed carry license from another state that has not been revoked for cause
  • Small arms training while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard
  • A certification letter from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board or a letter from a Police Department stating you served as a police officer and completed training
  • A Firearms Certification of Proficiency as part of private security training from the Department of Safety and Professional Services or a similar course in another state
  • A certificate of completion from a firearms safety or training course that is conducted by a national or state organization that certifies firearms instructors, a law enforcement agency, technical college, college, university or an instructor certified by a national or state organization that certifies firearms instructors

A Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class from the USCCA meets permitting requirements in Wisconsin. Find a class near you!

How Do I Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Wisconsin?

Step 1: Complete a firearm training course if required.

Step 2: For mail applications, download the application from the website or complete the online application.

Step 3: The following documents are required:

  • The completed application form with required original signatures (no photocopies)
  • Current Wisconsin residential mailing address
  • Current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card number
  • Acceptable proof of training

Pay the fee.

Step 4: Submit the form online or mail the application to the Wisconsin Department of Justice along with your payment.

Wisconsin Department of Justice
Attn: Firearms Unit
P.O. Box 7130
Madison, WI, 53707-7130

Step 5:  You will be notified if your application has been approved.


For more information, 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.