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Ozaukee County weapons violation defense attorneyWisconsin is a state that has relatively lenient gun laws, especially when compared to other states. In Wisconsin, you do not need to have a permit to own or possess a firearm. As long as you are not prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, and you pass a background check, you can legally carry your firearm in public, as long as it is not hidden from plain view. Once you hide the firearm from plain view, you are considered to be carrying a concealed handgun, which requires a concealed carry weapons (CCW) license.

When it comes to transporting firearms, the rules can become a little vague. Is the interior of a vehicle considered “concealed?” Do you need a permit to transport a firearm? There are certain rules that you must follow to legally transport a firearm in Wisconsin. The rules do vary, however, depending on whether or not you have a CCW. By remaining aware of how the laws apply to you, you can avoid any potential weapons charges.

Transporting a Gun With a CCW License

According to Wisconsin laws, residents who legally possess a CCW license can carry a loaded and concealed handgun in their vehicle. However, rifles and shotguns, also known as long guns, have different rules. You are permitted to transport them while they are not in a case, but you are not permitted to conceal them within your vehicle. This means that all rifles and shotguns must be unloaded and in plain view from outside of the vehicle or out of reach of people in the vehicle.

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Walworth County weapons violation defense attorney

For many pro-gun-ownership activists, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is often the go-to for debates over who should be permitted to own a firearm. According to the Second Amendment, all citizens have the right to bear arms, but the government has reserved the right to regulate ownership to the individual states. Each state and even the federal government has placed restrictions on gun ownership, specifying when an individual may be forbidden from owning or possessing firearms. Violating these laws can result in serious consequences in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Gun Ownership Laws

In Wisconsin, there are certain people who are not permitted to purchase or possess a firearm. If you are caught in possession of a gun when you are not permitted to do so, you may face criminal charges. You could face illegal possession charges if you own or possess a firearm and you:

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Jefferson County weapons charges defense attorney

In 1999, the country was in shock when the nation’s first major school shooting took place at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Two teenage boys shot and killed 13 people and injured more than 20 others before they committed suicide. Since then, more events involving gun violence have taken place, many in schools. In the past couple of years, there have been dozens of incidents in which high school students have committed acts of violence using a weapon at school. In one recent event, a Waukesha, Wisconsin teen threatened fellow students with a pellet gun, resulting in an altercation with a police officer. 

Teen Shot Three Times By Police

Early in December of 2019, a Waukesha South High School student brought a pellet gun into school to scare the other students because he “was tired of being picked on,” according to authorities. The boy became upset when another student asked him about his plans for his 18th birthday. According to the charges filed, the teen pulled a pellet gun that looked like a handgun from his backpack and pointed it directly toward the student’s head.

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Milwaukee County gun violations defense attorney

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states that all American citizens have the right to “keep and bear arms.” While many people interpret that as being an inherent right, it is treated more like a privilege throughout the country. Gun ownership laws differ from state to state, but most states have set criteria or restrictions on who can legally own a firearm and how they can be possessed. Wisconsin is an "open carry" state, meaning it is legal to carry a firearm if you are legally allowed to possess it, and it is readily visible while you are carrying it. If you conceal the firearm, you must also possess a license to carry a concealed weapon. Even if you simply want to own a gun, certain offenses may prevent you from being able to legally possess a firearm in Wisconsin, which can lead to criminal charges. Potential reasons that you may be barred from owning a gun include:

You Were Convicted of a Wisconsin Felony

It is both a federal and a state law that you cannot possess a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony. In Wisconsin, you are not permitted to own or purchase a firearm if you have been convicted of a crime such as murder, sexual assault, battery, burglary, or any other felony.

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Waukesha County weapons violation defense lawyer

Gun laws have been a hot topic for lawmakers and other government officials for the past couple of years. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 261 mass shootings (defined as incidents in which four or more people are shot or killed) in the United States so far in 2019. In the wake of the latest mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, which killed 22 and 10 people respectively, Wisconsin lawmakers have been discussing the possibility of new gun laws. The proposed legislation includes bills to make universal background checks a requirement, along with the implementation of red-flag laws.

Current Background Check Requirements

Federal law currently dictates that all people purchasing guns from licensed dealers must complete a background check. This does not include guns that are sold from person to person or guns that are purchased at gun shows. The new law proposing expanded background checks would require a background check to be completed for almost all gun sales or transfers, except for sales or transfers to a firearms dealer, law enforcement, or armed service agencies.

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