Latest Guide (2018)

Get the latest facts on Wisconsin gun laws with this quick guide.
Everything you need to know is on this page.
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Wisconsin gun laws operate at the state level with concealed weapons licenses being issued by the Department of Justice. Licenses are only issued to residents of the state with no options for a non-resident to obtain a license. There are no firearm registration requirements or laws limiting the capacity of magazines or any requirement for background checks on private gun sales. In Wisconsin 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.

Wisconsin CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced YES
Open Carry Permitted YES
Carry In Restaurant YES
Constitutional Carry NO
total active ccw
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Gun Laws

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states that honor
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wisconsin honors
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Wisconsin Dashboard

total active CCW
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Gun Laws

State Rating
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honored in

WI Honors

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Wisconsin CCW Reciprocity

  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in Wisconsin

Wisconsin will honor all non-resident permits from the states they honor provided the holder of the permit is at least 21 years old. More information on reciprocity can be found at the state website.

Wisconsin Reciprocity State's


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

Districts & Territories
Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington.

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia

  • Virginia – Wisconsin will not honor the Virginia Resident Permit/License only their Non Resident Permit/License.
  • Missouri – Only licenses issued/renewed on or after 8/28/13 are honored in Wisconsin.
  • Ohio – Only Permits Issued/renewed on or after March 23, 2015 are honored in Wisconsin.
  • Massachusetts – Only Honors the Class A Massachusetts Permit.
  • South Dakota – Wisconsin Only Honors the Enhanced and Gold Licenses.

Wisconsin Pistol License

Wisconsin Issue Policy

Shall Issue

License Issued To


CCW License Overview

Permits are issued to residents only, who are 21 or older, have completed a firearms training course, and meet other criteria. Applications are processed at the state level by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and can be filed online or by mail.

An emergency license is available and is valid for 30 days. To obtain one you will need to obtain permission from a Court in the county you reside in and prove that you need a firearm to protect yourself from death or bodily harm.

Non-Resident Licenses

Non-resident licenses are only issued to military personnel if they are stationed in Wisconsin.

The Law
175.60(1)(dm) and 175.60(14)(c)

Handgun Training

If you are planning on getting a CCL then you will be required to provide proof that you have completed a firearms safety training course. The course is a 4-6 hour class with no shooting involved. After completing the course you will be given a certificate which can be submitted online. Training is only required if you want to obtain a CCL license, no license is required to openly carry.

The following documents will be accepted as proof of training;

  • The hunter education program or a similar program from another state.
  • A current or expired CCW license from another state with form DJ-LE-289 to verify it has not been revoked.
  • Proof of security, military or law enforcement training.
  • Certificate issued for the Department of Justice Firearm Safety Course.
  • Certificate from a firearms course taught by a state or national organization that certifies firearms instructors or a course offered to the public by a law enforcement agency.


  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Applicant can provide adequate proof of training
  • Applicant is not prohibited by a court order from possessing a firearm
  • Applicant is a Wisconsin resident as indicated by a current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card or is active military stationed in Wisconsin.
  • You have not been convicted of a felony in Wisconsin
  • You have not been convicted of a crime elsewhere that would be a felony if convicted in Wisconsin.
  • You have not been adjudicated delinquent for an act committed on or after April 21, 1994, that if committed by an adult in this state would be a felony.
  • You have not been committed to treatment and ordered not to possess a firearm.
  • You have not 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.
  • You have not been adjudicated delinquent for an act committed on or after April 21, 1994, that if committed by an adult in this state would be a felony.
  • Federal Law Requirements
cost of
Cww permit
Years Permit
is valid

Wisconsin: Places Off-Limits for CWL

wisconsin state flag
Wisconsin state flag

Places Off-Limits in Wisconsin

  • Building that is a police station, sheriff’s office, state patrol station.
  • Prison, jail, house of correction, or secured correctional facility.
  • Secure 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.
  • School grounds or within 1000 feet of a school. This applies to elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school, or high school- public or private. You can be within 1000ft of a school if you have a CCW license.
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Places Allowed in Wisconsin

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state - except those listed as off limits

Pointers: Wisconsin Gun Laws

Who can own a gun in Wisconsin?
When you can use your gun

Wisconsin Concealed Carry Laws

wisconsin state capitol building
Wisconsin state capitol building

Wisconsin Gun Laws To Know

YES/NO - Without a permit

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 handgun in a vehicle. If you do not have a permit you can still carry a handgun in a vehicle if it is visible. That means above the window line and not concealed in any manner.

The Law

NO - Must Inform Officer

Nothing in Wisconsin gun laws say that you need to disclose to a police officer that you are carrying a concealed weapon. However, if the officer requests documentation then the law says you must show him your license and photo ID.

"A licensee shall have with him or her, during all times he or she is carrying a concealed weapon, his or her license document, photographic identification card, and, if the licensee is a military resident, his or her military license."

Open carry is legal without a license if you are at least 18 years old and allowed to possess a firearm.

Wisconsin gun laws give the force of law to “No Weapons” signs. There are legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. To be legally enforceable the signs must be 5"x 7" and clearly state the type of gun and carry that is prohibited.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons" sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

The Law
You are permitted to carry in the following areas;
  • State Parks:       YES - DNR FAQs for firearms and 29.089
  • State/National Forests:     YES - DNR FAQs for firearms
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YES - DNR FAQs for firearms and 29.091
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES

In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

"Yes" or "No" states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. In Wisconsin any person can legally carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol, even if there is a bar in the restaurant.

If you enter an establishment that makes more than 51% of its income from selling alcohol such as a bar or tavern you are required to have a CCL license. However, if you have a CCL then you are not permitted to drink in these establishments.

Wisconsin is not regarded as a constitutional carry state however it does have permitless carry if the weapon is carried openly.
"The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose" (Art. I, 25)
no weapons sign in wisconsin

Wisconsin Off-Limit Statutes

Other Wisconsin Statutes

For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

Other Gun Laws in Wisconsin

There are no background checks required on private gun sales. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun. There is also no requirement to register guns or to obtain a purchase permit.

Wisconsin CCW FAQ's

frequently asked questions on wisconsin gun laws

Wisconsin CWL Contact

Wisconsin Department of Justice


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 17 W. Main St.

CityMadison, WI 53703

Phone (608) 266-1221


Updates & Data Sources

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WayneMatthewBradTerry Wentzanonymous Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Ok, there are some things that need to be updated. 1. Handgun Training You are required to provide proof that you have completed a firearms safety training course. The following documents will be accepted; – This is only true, if you are planning on getting your CCL. You can open carry a handgun without a permit. Also, you don’t have “training” as in shooting. You sit through a 4-6 hour class, get a certificate, then submit the application online. 2. School grounds or within 1000 feet of a school. – This applies to places you REASONABLY believe are schools. Public… Read more »

Terry Wentz
Terry Wentz

I have a CCW in Indiana which has reciprocity with WI. Can I still carry a loaded gun in the vehicle? On my person or in the glove box?


I think it states clearly above that if you have a valid CCW recognized in Wisconsin, then yes, you can carry loaded in the vehicle.


should be “What if I lose my license?” not “loose”


I live in WI. TX will honor our permits. I travel to Dallas on business regularly. I called both State PD as well as county n local…all referred me to DA office…DA stated they would not prosecute those charges if permit is in good standing. I got pulled over just outside of Dallas I was carrying in shoulder holster under suit coat. I made officer aware n he laughed n said long as u don’t pull it on me idc if u got permit or not. TX DOJ stated it’s too much papers to file recip so it’s more of… Read more »


This is not true. TX does not have reciprocity with WI.

I have driven to TX, so I looked up their lows. WI recognizes TX permits, but TX does not recognize WI permits.

It doesn’t matter what cop you spoke to, cops are notoriously misinformed with CCW laws.

Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey

My name is Scott Bailey,I am a legal CCW holder in Florida.I need to transport a handgun across the state of Wisconsin in my motor vehicle.What do I do?
Thank you,
Scott Bailey