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Can Mental Illness Prevent Me From Owning a Firearm in Wisconsin?

 Posted on November 10, 2020 in Gun Violations

Waukesha County criminal defense attorney weapons violations

Almost one out of every five adults in the United States are living with some form of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses can range in severity from mild to debilitating. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you may wonder how this could affect your gun rights in Wisconsin. You may ask, “Are people with a mental illness prohibited from owning firearms?” or “Will I be forced to surrender my firearms if I am a patient in a mental health facility?” It is important to understand Wisconsin gun laws in order to avoid criminal charges. 

Wisconsin Law Regarding Firearm Possession and Mental Health

The right to possess a firearm is granted by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, there are some situations in which a person can lose his or her gun rights. Possession of a firearm is a Class G felony criminal offense in Wisconsin if the person possessing the gun:

  • Was found “not guilty” of a Wisconsin felony by reason of mental illness or mental defect

  • Was found “not guilty” of a felony crime outside of Wisconsin by reason of insanity or mental illness

  • Was committed for treatment because of a developmental disability, drug dependency, or mental illness, AND has been ordered not to possess a firearm

According to Wisconsin statute, an individual’s mental health problem or developmental disability can prevent him or her from possessing a firearm if he or she has avoided conviction because of mental illness or has been prohibited from gun ownership by court order. Federal law prevents individuals who were involuntarily committed for mental illness or drug or alcohol dependency from possessing a firearm.

Does Wisconsin Have Red Flag Laws?

Some states have so-called “red flag” laws that allow the government to seize a person’s firearms. If a person believes that someone may be a danger to himself/herself or others -- because of mental health issues or another reason -- the concerned party can petition the state to temporarily suspend the person’s right to possess a firearm.

Wisconsin does not have red flag laws, but there are situations in which your right to possess a firearm may be temporarily or permanently revoked. For example, if you are accused of domestic abuse, the alleged victim may petition the court for a restraining order. If you are subject to a restraining order, you may be prohibited from possessing firearms and required to surrender your firearms to a court-approved individual.

Contact a Waukesha County Gun Violations Lawyer

If you have questions about your right to possess a firearm, are currently the subject of a restraining order, or are facing firearm-related criminal charges, contact Bucher Law Group, LLC. Our Milwaukee County criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your legal options, build a strong defense against your charges, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout any criminal proceedings. Call us today at 262-303-4916 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.



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