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Wisconsin Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 05/10/2019
Carry allowed with my Wisconsin permit?
Yes
Yes, With Restrictions
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

Summary of Wisconsin Gun Laws

Wisconsin is a shall-issue state. Wisconsin gun laws operate at the state level with concealed carry weapons (CCW) licenses issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.

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 with a Wisconsin Concealed Weapons License (CWL) or 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 training course and meet other criteria. Non-residents cannot obtain a license. In terms of reciprocity, Wisconsin will honor permits from states they have reciprocity agreements with, as well as states that require a background check comparable to the check conducted under Wisconsin law. 

Wisconsin is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat and the law applies at a person's residence, vehicle or business. To use the law, an intruder must be trying to forcibly enter a person's home, business or vehicle while the defender is present [Wis. Stat. § 895.62, Wis. Stat. § 939.48(1m)(ar)1]. With Castle Doctrine, when a person uses force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm (such as shooting another person) in the course of defending themselves they have civil immunity from prosecution. 

333k
Permits Issued
5.8M
State Population
5.73%
Permit Percentage
40
States Honored
32
Reciprocating States
21
Minimum Age to CC

Wisconsin Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Wisconsin allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Wisconsin?

Yes, without a permit.  Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry. However a concealed carry permit is required to conceal a loaded handgun within reach in a vehicle. [Wis. Stat. § 947.01, Wis. Stat. § 66.0409] 

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Wisconsin requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Wisconsin to get a concealed carry permit?

21

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you conceal carry weapons other than handguns in Wisconsin with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

Yes. “Weapon" means a handgun, an electric weapon, or a billy club. 

“Electric weapon" means any device which is designed, redesigned, used or intended to be used, offensively or defensively, to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use of electric current.

A handgun does not include a machine gun, a short barreled rifle or a short barreled shotgun. Wis. Stat. 175.60(1)(bm).

Long guns (rifles, shotguns) may not be carried concealed.

[Wis. Stat. § 175.60(1)(j)]
Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Wisconsin issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Only issued to military personnel if they are stationed in Wisconsin.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Wisconsin allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Wisconsin?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit [Wis. Stat. § 167.31], but not in or on the grounds of a school [Wis. Stat. § 948.605].  The Wisconsin Supreme Court on 4/10/18 ruled that a person must have a permit that is valid in Wisconsin to carry a concealed loaded handgun within reach in a vehicle. Without a permit a loaded handgun must be placed above the window line and not concealed in any manner. 

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Wisconsin?

Yes.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Wisconsin?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit. [Wis. Stat. §29.091]

[Wis. Stat. § 29.089]
Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Wisconsin?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit, provided you consume no alcohol.

[Wis. Stat. § 941.237]
Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Wisconsin have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

An employer may not prohibit a licensee, as a condition of employment, from carrying or storing a concealed weapon, a particular type of concealed weapon, or ammunition in the licensee’s own motor vehicle, regardless of whether the motor vehicle is used in the course of employment or whether the motor vehicle is driven or parked on property used by the employer.

[Wis. Stat. 175.60(15m)(b)]

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Wisconsin?

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Wisconsin have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Wisconsin have ammunition restrictions?

No.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Wisconsin? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes. Per Wis. Stat. § 943.13 Trespass to Land.

Whoever enters or remains in any of the following areas once notified not to enter or remain while carrying a firearm is subject to a Class B forfeiture: 

  • A residence;
  • A common area in a building or on the grounds of a residence that is not a single-family residence;
  • Any part of a nonresidential building, grounds or land (not including state or by a local governmental properties, buildings on the grounds or grounds of a university or college);
  • A special event;
  • Any part of a building that is owned, occupied or controlled by the state or any local governmental unit, excluding any building or portion of a building under s. 175.60 (16) (a) (not including leased residential or business premises); or
  • In any privately or publicly owned building or on the grounds of a university or college (not including leased residential or business premises in the buildings).

These restrictions do not apply to firearms that are in vehicles driven or parked in parking facilities on these properties.

[Wis. Stat. § 943.13]
Preemption?

Does Wisconsin have [preemption laws](https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/terminology/firearms-and-ammunition/preemption) related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except cities may:

  • Restrict the discharge of firearms (except for self-defense).
[Wis. Stat. § 66.0409]
Red Flag Law?

Does Wisconsin have a red flag law?

No.


STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose."
Article 1, § 25

Wisconsin Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Wisconsin honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Alaska (issued/renewed on or after 1/14/2013)
California (at least 21 years old)
Idaho (Enhanced permits only)
Indiana (at least 21 years old)
Maryland (at least 21 years old)
Massachusetts (Class A permits only)
Missouri (not provisional licenses)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
Nevada (issued/renewed on or after 7/1/2011)
New Mexico (at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (Class 1 permits only)
Ohio (issued/renewed on or after 3/23/2015)
South Dakota (Enhanced and Gold permits only and at least 21 years old)
Virginia (non-resident permits only)
West Virginia (issued/renewed on or after 6/8/2012, not provisional permits)

Wisconsin will honor permits from states they have reciprocity agreements with, as well as states that require a background check comparable to the check conducted under Wisconsin law. People with CCW permits from these states may carry concealed in Wisconsin provided that they are at least 21 years old and not a Wisconsin resident. More information on reciprocity can be found at the state website.


Other States' Reciprocity With Wisconsin

Which states honor permits from Wisconsin?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Wisconsin

Which states honor permits from Wisconsin with restrictions?

Colorado (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Pennsylvania (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Wisconsin Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

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; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial License $40

Renewals $22

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

21 days

Application:

Link to application

Name/Address Changes:

To apply for a replacement license due to a name and/or address change, you can use the online system to Request A Replacement License and pay the fee. There is no charge for address changes if no new card is requested.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

If your License was damaged and are requesting a new card with your existing License Number you must complete the Replacement License Request Form and submit your request through the mail and return your damaged card. 

You may use the online system to request to have your lost or stolen CCW license replaced. A new License number will be assigned. The cost for a replacement license is $12 and will require a new background check.


Wisconsin Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Wisconsin Concealed Carry Permit

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 photo copies);
  • Current Wisconsin residential mailing address;
  • Current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card number; and 
  • 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 $40 payment.

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

Step 5:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in Wisconsin

Firearms Training in Wisconsin

Per 175.60(4), training can be satisfied by providing a certificate from any of the following:

Find A USCCA class near you


Wisconsin Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Wisconsin Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

You are eligible to renew your license if it is valid and you are within 120 days of the expiration date or if your license has not been expired for more than 90 days. A licensee is ineligible to renew their license outside of that timeframe. Your ability to renew your license after the expiration date DOES NOT authorize you to carry concealed with an Expired CCW License. 

Step 2:

For mail applications, download the renewal application from the website or complete the online application

Step 3:

The following documents are required:

  • The completed form with required original signatures (no photo copies);
  • Current Wisconsin residential mailing address; and
  • Current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card number.

Pay the fee.

Step 4:

Submit the form online or mail the application to the Wisconsin Department of Justice along with $40 payment.

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

Step 5:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Per Wis. Stat. § 174.49, Wisconsin RLEOs may request his or her former law enforcement employer to issue a certification card which permits the former officer to carry a concealed handgun. Former federal LEOs and RLEOs from out-of-state agencies, residing in Wisconsin, may request a certification card through the WisDOJ. All RLEO handgun qualification must be conducted by an instructor certified by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board.

The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation only issues LEOSA cards to retired DCI agents. Retired federal agents and out-of-state LEO's who now reside in Wisconsin must submit their application to the Division of Law Enforcement Services (DLES) to obtain a LEOSA card.  

Links

WI DOJ LEOSA Process and Forms
DOJ WILEnet LEOSA Information
DOJ Handgun Qualifications FAQs
LEOSA Carry Process in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Law Enforcement Handgun Qualification Standard


Wisconsin Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Wisconsin?

  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted AND provided you consume no alcohol.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No. Only with a valid concealed-carry permit. 
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit.
  • Carry when traveling by train or bus? Yes.
  • Carry when traveling by airplane? No for commercial aircraft. Yes for private aircraft.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship, unless the place of worship is on the grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school which provides an educational program for one or more grades between grades 1 and 12 . Also, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms. 
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Wisconsin?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • On school grounds of elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools and senior high schools;
  • All universities in the University of Wisconsin system, except with the written approval of the chief administrative officer;
  • Building that is a police station, sheriff’s office or state patrol station;
  • Prison, jail, house of correction or secured correctional facility;
  • Anywhere while under the influence of an intoxicant;
  • Mental health facility for sexually violent persons;
  • Wisconsin Resource Center;
  • Secured unit of a mental health institute, including a facility designated as the Maximum Security Facility at Mendota Mental Health Institute;
  • County, state or federal courthouse;
  • Municipal courtroom if court is in session;
  • Beyond a security checkpoint in an airport;
  • 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, though weapons can be stored in vehicles in parking areas; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

FAQ: Wisconsin Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in Wisconsin?

No.

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Wisconsin?

No.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Wisconsin?

No. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a firearm in Wisconsin?

No.

What are the knife laws in Wisconsin?

Knives are not listed as dangerous weapons per [939.22(10)]. It is illegal in Wisconsin to carry a concealed and dangerous weapon by anyone who is PROHIBITED from possessing a firearm. Local governments may prohibit knives from specified buildings.

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in WI?

Not while consuming or under the influence, per Wis. Stat. §§ 941.20 and 941.237
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.


Related Information & Links for Wisconsin Gun Laws


Wisconsin Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
05/10/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/19/2019

Links checked

04/03/2019

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

02/22/2019

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

02/15/2019

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

02/01/2019

Added info to

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

12/27/2018

Added reference to carrying while under the influence

12/13/2018

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

12/03/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

11/29/2018

Clarified vehicle carry on school grounds/ban on guns on UW properties

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Wisconsin


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Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

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Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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.

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