Since November of 2011, Wisconsin's concealed carry laws have allowed licensed state residents to carry concealed firearms under certain conditions. However, these laws do not change many of the existing laws governing how individuals can legally use firearms or defend themselves in public.

Here are 16 examples of conduct that are still prohibited for anyone possessing a weapon in Wisconsin:

1. Exhibit disorderly conduct

If the facts and circumstances of a particular situation indicate a malicious or otherwise illegal intent, you can be prosecuted for loading, carrying, or firing a firearm. (Wis. Stat. § 947.01(1) and (2)).

2. Carry a concealed firearm while intoxicated

Carrying any kind of weapon under the influence of an intoxicant is a class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin. (Wis. Stat. § 941.20(1)(b)). The penalties are 9 months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

3. Carrying a firearm while unlawfully using a controlled substance

It is a class A misdemeanor to go armed with a firearm with a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in their blood without proof of a valid prescription. (Wis. Stat. § 941.20(1)(bm))

4. Intentionally point a firearm at another person

Intentionally pointing a firearm at or toward another person constitutes a class A misdemeanor (Wis. Stat. § 941.20(1)(c)) unless the person you point it at is one of the following:

  • Law enforcement officer
  • Firefighter
  • Emergency medical technician
  • First responder
  • Ambulance driver
  • A commission warden who is acting in an official capacity and who the person knows or has reason to know is a law enforcement officer
  • Emergency medical technician
  • First responder an ambulance driver, or
  • Commission warden

In these cases, the penalty is a class H felony.

5. Intentionally fire into a vehicle or building where a person may be

Intentionally discharging a firearm into a vehicle or building under circumstances in which the person should realize there might be a human present (unless privileged) is a class G felony. (Wis. Stat. § 941.20(2))

6. Intentionally fire from a vehicle while on a highway or in a parking lot

Whoever intentionally discharges a firearm from a vehicle while on a highway, or on a vehicle parking lot that is open to the public under any of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class F felony (Wis. Stat. § 941.20(3)) if:

  • The person discharges the firearm at or toward another
  • The person discharges the firearm at or toward any building or other vehicle.

7. Possess, buy, sell, offer to sell, or manufacture a switchblade

Switchblades are illegal in Wisconsin and carry a penalty of $10,000 and/or 9 months in jail. (Wis. Stat. § 941.24)

8. Possess tear gas, mace or similar substances besides pepper spray

“No person may sell, possess, use or transport any tear gas bomb, hand grenade, projectile or shell or any other container of any kind or character into which tear gas or any similar substance is used or placed for use to cause bodily discomfort, panic, or damage to property.” (Wis. Stat. § 941.26(1)(b))

9. Use tear gas, pepper spray or similar substances against police or during a crime. (Wis. Stat. s 941.26(2))

10. Possess, purchase, sell, or transport a machine gun

“No person may take a firearm that is not designed to shoot more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger and modify the firearm so that it does shoot more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” (Wis. Stat. § 941.26(1m))

11. Possess, purchase, sell, or transport or use a short-barreled shotgun or rifle

“No person may sell or offer to sell, transport, purchase, possess or go armed with a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle. Those in violation face a class H felony.” (Wis. Stat. § 941.28)

12. Sell or distribute an imitation firearm

“No person may sell or distribute any look-alike firearm. Whoever violates this subsection is subject to a Class A forfeiture.” (Wis. Stat. § 941.297)

13. Carry a facsimile firearm that could intimidate others

“No person may carry or display a facsimile firearm in a manner that could reasonably be expected to alarm, intimidate, threaten or terrify another person. Whoever violates this section is subject to a Class C forfeiture.” (Wis. Stat. § 941.2965)

14. Possess, sell or deliver a firearm silencer unless specifically allowed by law

“Firearm silencer” means any device for silencing, muffling or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating such a device, and any part intended only for use in that assembly or fabrication.

Whoever sells, delivers or possesses a firearm silencer is guilty of a Class H felony. (Wis. Stat. § 941.298)

15. Handle a firearm negligently

Endangering another’s safety by the negligent operation or handling of a dangerous weapon is a class A misdemeanor. (Wis. Stat. § 941.20(1)(a))

16. Recklessly endanger the safety of another person

“Whoever recklessly endangers another's safety is guilty of a Class G felony.” (Wis. Stat. § 941.30)

Have you or someone you know been arrested and/or charged with a gun crime in Wisconsin? Contact Attorney Patrick Stangl for a free consultation today.