Wisconsin is often grouped together along with the many states that do not provide for strict or extremely selective firearm policies. State law does not require that an individual obtain a gun license or permit for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, handguns, or other firearms. Furthermore, there is no permit or gun license required for the possession of a firearm.
However, all retailers, dealers, manufacturers, pawnbrokers, or businesses that sell firearms are required to keep records of each individual sale and purchase. The records must be kept on-site of the place of business, and will be reproduced if a law enforcement official requires that information.
Also, a 48-hour waiting period is implemented on the purchase of any handgun. The possession of machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and gun silencers and compressors are allowed by state law, as long as they are properly registered with state and federal authorities. Gun dealers may also be authorized to sell these types of firearms and components as long as they are certified by state and federal regulations to do so.
The most notable key piece of legislation that Wyoming employs is that there is no gun license made available for the carrying of concealed weapons. Wisconsin is one of only two states that completely prohibit the concealed carrying of a handgun or weapon by its private citizens or residents.
The only individuals legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon in the state are law enforcement officers and military personnel while on duty. The open carry of a weapon is legal, but only in locations not prohibited by law. The open carry of a weapon while transporting is allowed, as long as the weapon is not loaded and secured in a case. Since 1994 it has been illegal to carry an open weapon.
The carrying of a weapon into a building that pertains to or is affiliated with the state is illegal. This also extends to public places such as schools and its related programs, on or off the school's immediate premises. A firearm may be on the school's ground for educational or safety instruction purposes. It must be unloaded and locked in a case if in possession while in a motor vehicle on school grounds.
Even though Wisconsin firearm laws may prove not to be the most restrictive, the legislature does provide for other provisions that other states have yet implemented or taken in to consideration. An example of this is evident with the Wisconsin hunting provisions regarding minors. The Wisconsin hunting laws for minors are detailed according to certain age requirements and the types of weapons that may be used for hunting for minors of that specific age. Some of these provisions are:
No child under the age of 10 may hunt with a firearm or bow
Children aged 12-13 are allowed to hunt with the supervision of an adult
Children aged 12-13 may be in possession of a firearm when accompanied with an adult, or transporting the weapon to and from a hunting class; weapon must be cased and unloaded
Minors aged 14-17 may possess a firearm without an adult present if the Hunter Safety course is completed
In allowing for a more detailed description of what minors are allowed to hunt with, Wisconsin hunting laws are providing for a safer environment for minors while engaged in such activities, cultivating a more responsible use, knowledge, and handling of firearms. When such a child maintains such experience, it is more likely he will be a more responsible adult when handling firearms him/herself.
Though Wisconsin gun laws may not be the most extensive or restricting, certain aspects of their provisions may insure for a more responsible use and handling of handguns by both minors and adults, which in turn, justify why such little legislation is needed; if Wyoming residents are more responsible with handguns, less limitations may be used in order control firearms.