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What are the Gun Laws in Wisconsin?

Machine Guns, Shotguns, Miscellaneous


Machine Guns and Other Illegal Weapons

No person may sell, possess, use or transport any machine gun or other full automatic firearm.

A "machine gun" includes any weapon that shoots, is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

Exceptions include:
  • The possession of a machine gun for scientific purpose.

  • The possession of a machine gun not usable as a weapon and possessed as a curiosity, ornament or keepsake.

  • The possession of a machine gun other than one adapted to use pistol cartridges for a purpose manifestly not aggressive or offensive. A person may be authorized by the chief of police of any city or the sheriff of any county to sell, possess, use, or transport a machine gun.

"Short-barreled shotgun" means a shotgun having one or more barrels having a length of less than 18 inches measured from closed breech or bolt face to muzzle or a shotgun having an overall length of less than 26 inches.

No person may sell or offer to sell, transport, purchase, possess or go armed with a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle. Exceptions include armed forces or national guard personnel in line of duty, any peace officer of the United States or of any political subdivision of the United States.

This section does not apply to any firearm that may be lawfully possessed under federal law, or any firearm that could have been lawfully registered at the time of the enactment of the national firearms act of 1968.


  • It is unlawful to possess any firearm in a wildlife refuge unless the firearm is unloaded and in a case.

  • No person born on or after January 1, 1973, may obtain any approval authorizing hunting unless the person is issued a Certificate of Accomplishment. Exceptions are allowed if there is evidence that is satisfactory to the department indicating that he or she has completed in another state a hunter safety course and if the course is recognized by the department under a reciprocity agreement or if the person has successfully completed basic training in the U.S. armed forces, reserves or national guard.

  • Firearms kept for personal use are specifically exempt from personal property taxation. Consumer goods including firearms are also exempt from execution of a judgment if they do not exceed $5,000.00 in aggregate value.

  • It is unlawful to discharge any firearm within 660 feet of any public park, square or enclosure owned or controlled by any municipality .

  • It is unlawful to operate or go armed with a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant. It is unlawful to go armed with a handgun on any premises for which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.

  • It is unlawful to possess, place, or transport in or on any aircraft, vehicle, ATV, or any motor-driven boat while the motor is running, any firearm unless such firearm is unloaded and in a case, and it is also unlawful to load or fire any firearm from such aircraft or vehicle. This prohibition does not apply to vehicles being used to transport individuals in sport shooting activities at sport shooting ranges.

  • It is unlawful to set a spring gun or set gun which may kill game.

  • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm while on the lands of another within 100 yards of any building devoted to human occupancy without the express permission of the owner or occupant. "Building" does not include any tent, bus, truck, vehicle or similar portable unit.

  • It is unlawful to shoot from or across a highway or within 50 feet of the center of a roadway.

  • It is unlawful to recklessly store or leave a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a person under 14 who obtains the firearm without lawful permission and possesses or exhibits the firearm in a public place or discharges the firearm so as to cause bodily harm or death to self or another.

  • In a commercial transfer the buyer or receiver of a firearm shall be provided with a written warning: "If you leave a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a child you may be fined or imprisoned or both if the child improperly discharges, possesses or exhibits the firearm."

  • No political subdivision may enact an ordinance or adopt a resolution that regulates the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permitting, registration or taxation of any firearm or part of a firearm, including ammunition and reloader components, unless the ordinance or resolution is the same as or similar to, and no more stringent than, a state statute.
Sources: Wis. Stat. Ann. Of 2003 §§ 23.33(3)(e), 29.091, 29.304, 29.591, 29.593, 29.927(5), 66.0409(2), 70.111, 120.13(1), 134.71, 167.30, 167.31, 175.35, 175.37, 815.18(3)(d), 885.235, 941.20, 941.23, 941.235, 941.237, 941.25 through 941.29, 941.297, 948.55, 948.60(3), 948.605.
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