History of gun laws and ownership in the United States
To understand the Wisconsin Open Carry Law, it is important to look at the United States’ past. When the first pioneers came to America, understandably, there was hardly any civilization in the European sense to be found there. Apart from the Native Americans, the continent was uninhabited and wild, the emigrants had to protect themselves from many dangers and so it was common to have a weapon.
This lasted until the 18th century, the time of the independence conflict with the British crown. Unlike the English, America did not have a large, uniform, and well-trained army, Due to the widespread possession of weapons, however, it was possible to counter the enemy and so the war was won by a large number of small private armies. It was during this time that the second amendment to the constitution was written, about which I will write something later. Weapons were still widespread and that was the case until the times of the Wild West and later the Great Depression, the great economic crisis of the 1930s.
Since many people lived on the poverty line at that time, weapons were one of the few ways to get cheap food here. So you can see that guns have always belonged to the American population and from the experience of having to defend oneself against enemies, be they wild animals or the British occupying powers, the picture developed.
What is Open Carry Law?
Open Carry law entails that an individual of a legally acceptable age can legally carry a gun in the open, and visible to the view of the public.
Most gun laws in the United States are controlled by the federal government, but many are left to the discretion and dictates of the respective states in the US. Wisconsin is known for its pretty extensive gun laws which is unobtainable in any other state of the Nation.
In Wisconsin, it is entirely illegal for an individual to carry a concealed rifle. However, it is legal and permitted to openly carry a gun except in exclusive areas prohibited by law.
Which Areas are Exclusive to the Open Carry Law?
The open carry law of Wisconsin criminalizes the carrying of a firearm in the following places:
- Public vehicles
- Public places within 1,000 ft of school property
- Buildings belonging to, or used by the government
- Schools and places of learning
- Public places where alcoholic drinks are consumed
Any Exception to Open Carry Law Exclusive Areas?
When carrying a gun into a vehicle, you must ensure that it is not:
- Close to the driver’s reach
Not being loaded entails having no bullet in the gun, while not being uncased means properly boxing your firearm in a case created solely used to store a gun. This section of the law mandates all gun carriers to unload and encase their gun before boarding a vehicle, and then must uncase and openly display the gun after alighting from the vehicle.
Who is prohibited from the Open Carry Law?
All individuals are covered by the open carry law. However, any person who falls into any of these categories are not allowed to carry firearms under the open carry law:
- A juvenile who has committed a crime;
- An individual who has been convicted of a crime previously;
- A person who has been found not guilty of a crime due to a mental health condition.
- An individual who has been ordered not to possess a firearm because of a mental health issue.
- A person involved in a domestic abuse restraining order or child abuse restraining order.
- An individual who was previously ordered not to possess firearms because of a harassment restraining order.
In addition, if an individual knowingly provides a firearm to another person who fell into the above category, the person who provides the gun is considered an aid to a felony crime.
Why is the Open Carry Law Important?
Former Wisconsin state governor, Jim Doyle once expressed his support for the open carry law when he stated, “You want to carry a gun in Wisconsin, wear it on your hip.”
Wisconsin open carry law is instituted to fight crime by ensuring that the carriage of a riffle is not hidden from public view, so un that way it can adequately be regulated. Nonetheless, for some time, some jurisdictions try to prosecute individuals who abide by the provisions of the open carry law by handling them as offenders similar to crime perpetrators.
National Firearms Act (NFA)
The trade, possession, and manufacture of fully automatic weapons such as submachine guns and machine guns as well as silencers and so-called ” destructive devices ” such as grenades and explosive ammunition are regulated by the NFA. Private individuals who want to obtain a license to carry such weapons are checked by the FBI, among others, and must obtain confirmation from the competent authority of their place of residence. The weapons are then registered with the responsible ATF Federal Office.
Gun Control Act
The federal law introduced in 1968 restricts, among other things, the sending of firearms by post and prohibits their sale to violent criminals, psychiatric patients, and drug addicts. The licensing of arms dealers also goes back to this law.
According to this, firearms can generally only be bought in the state in which the buyer is currently resident. Only US citizens and immigrants with permanent residence permits are allowed to purchase a gun in retail stores. Private trade across state borders was banned.
Various states have passed additional laws that include regulations on the acquisition and prohibited weapons. The complete work 28th Edition of State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms (ATF P 5300.5) with the different regulations of all American states was published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and is available on the Internet.
Summary of Wisconsin Gun Law Travel Guide Basics
Firearm Ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license necessary
Consistency of laws: uniform throughout the state
Self-defense: castle doctrine
Open carry: unrestricted
Concealed carry: a permit is given on a shall-issue basis. May carry openly without a license
Vehicle carry handguns: can be loaded and concealed, cased or uncased
Vehicle carry long guns: unloaded, cased, or uncased in the trunk or outside storage