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WI defense lawyerThe Second Amendment protects the rights of Americans to own and use firearms - however, this right is not absolute. There are limits as to who can or cannot own or carry a gun. There are restrictions related to age, criminal history, and even mental health. Even for those who lawfully own a gun and possess a valid concealed carry license, there are still restrictions about where concealed carry is or is not permitted. It is easier than you may think to inadvertently cross onto the wrong side of the law and find yourself facing weapons charges. If you have been charged with a weapons offense, it is important to find an attorney who is experienced at protecting the Second Amendment rights of concealed carry permit holders. The consequences of a weapons offense could include the loss of your license.

What Legal Restrictions Are Placed on Concealed Carry License Holders?

First, it is important to know that there are some places where carrying a gun is illegal even if you have a permit. These places include:

  • Courts - This includes any county, state, and federal courthouses. Buildings that contain a municipal courtroom are included only if court is in session.
  • School grounds - You cannot carry a firearm on any part of a school’s campus or grounds, even if school is not in session.
  • Police stations - Unless, of course, you are a police officer, it is illegal to bring a gun into any police station, sheriff’s office, or any office housing special agents for the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
  • Jails - If you are planning on visiting someone in a jail or prison, remember to leave your gun behind. This restriction applies to any portion of a building that houses a secured correctional facility.
  • Mental health facilities - This applies only to secured mental health units, such as the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center. However, outpatient counseling offices may have their own policies about whether concealed carry is permitted inside.
  • Airports - You probably would not make it this far with a firearm, but it is a crime to bring a gun into any part of an airport past a security checkpoint.

Whether concealed carry is permitted in bars or other public places where alcohol is sold and consumed on the premises - like most restaurants - depends on whether you are partaking. It is illegal to carry your gun if you are under the influence. This is probably a good thing. Alcohol and guns do not mix any better than alcohol and cars.

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Racine County Weapons Charges Defense LawyerWisconsin has gun laws that respect the rights of its citizens to engage in hunting, recreational gun ownership, and self-defense. However, people who have been convicted of a felony offense are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and there are serious consequences for those convicted of illegal possession of a gun. If you are facing charges of illegal firearm possession, it is important to have a skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyer who can help you build a case on your behalf. 

When Can Possession of a Firearm Be Illegal in Wisconsin? 

There are many situations in which a citizen may not be legally permitted to own or possess a firearm, but behavior related to felony convictions is one of the most common. Persons can be prohibited from having a gun in the following circumstances: 

Delafield, WI weapons lawyer

Originally published: March 29, 2019 -- Updated: September 17, 2021

UPDATE: The state of Wisconsin does permit the open carry of firearms as described below, although there are a few cases where a person may be restricted from carrying a loaded weapon in public, such as when a person has been convicted of a felony or a domestic abuse charge. Gun owners should also be aware of the situations in which they could face criminal charges based on how a weapon was used. The offense of “endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon” may apply in the following situations:

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WI defense lawyerFewer issues are the subject of as much controversy as gun laws. Although the right to possess a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, state gun laws vary dramatically. If you are a gun owner in Wisconsin, it is crucial to know and understand your firearm-related rights and responsibilities. Violating Wisconsin gun laws, including laws related to gun transport, can lead to criminal charges.

Gun Laws in Wisconsin

Per Wisconsin law, you do not need a permit to own a gun. However, certain individuals are prohibited by possessing firearms by state and federal law. Under federal law, individuals who have been convicted of a felony criminal offense or certain domestic violence offenses may not possess a firearm. Additionally, Wisconsin law prohibits gun ownership for individuals who are subject to a restraining order, have drug or alcohol dependence problems, or have certain mental conditions.

If you are not prohibited from owning a gun by federal or Wisconsin law, anyone who passes a background check can open carry a firearm in plain view. If you wish to carry a concealed firearm in Wisconsin, you will need a concealed carry license (CCW license).

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Racine County criminal defense attorney weapons charges

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to bear arms. However, this right does not prevent states from enforcing certain restrictions regarding who can own a gun and where. If you are a gun owner, knowing the firearms laws in Wisconsin is crucial. Failure to obey conceal carry laws or other Wisconsin weapons laws can lead to criminal charges and the loss of your right to own a firearm.

Concealed Carry Permits Are Required to Conceal Carry a Firearm in Wisconsin

In order to legally carry a concealed firearm, you must apply for a carrying concealed weapon (CCW) license. To get a CCW license, you must be at least 21 and a Wisconsin resident. You must also complete a training course. Certain individuals are barred from getting a CCW under Wisconsin and/or federal law including:

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