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While Wisconsin has enacted several basic gun safety laws, the state still lacks a number of key policies that would go a long way toward reducing  gun violence.

The state processes background checks through state databases for handguns but doesn’t require background checks for private sales. In 2022, Wisconsin had the nineteenth lowest gun death rate among the states. In an average year, 708 people die from gun violence in the state. That means someone dies from gun violence every 12 hours. Sixty-five percent of those deaths are gun suicides, and 32% are gun homicides. In Wisconsin, the rate of gun deaths increased 45% from 2013 to 2022, compared to a 36% increase nationwide.

What Wisconsin Does Well

  • Certain domestic violence gun laws
  • Certain child access prevention laws
  • State database background checks for handguns
  • Certain disarming procedures
  • Partial handgun dealer regulation

What Wisconsin Is Missing

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Waiting periods
  • Strong concealed carry law
  • Open carry regulations



The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.