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Unless the firearm is unloaded and encased, Wisconsin prohibits the possession of a firearm: 1) State fish hatchery;1 or 2) in a wildlife refuge.2 Under the 2011 Wisconsin law allowing licensees to carry concealed weapons in public, neither of these prohibitions applies to individuals licensed to carry a concealed weapon.3

Wisconsin generally proscribes the possession of a firearm in any building owned or leased by the state or any political subdivision of the state.4 This prohibition also does not apply to individuals licensed to carry a concealed weapon.5

With certain exceptions, Wisconsin also bans handguns from taverns, hotels and restaurants.6 This prohibition does not apply to individuals licensed to carry a concealed weapon if the licensee is not consuming alcohol on the premises,7 or to possession of a handgun that is unloaded and encased in a vehicle in any parking lot area.8

The Wisconsin law allowing licensees to carry concealed weapons provides that a licensee may not knowingly carry a firearm in any of the following places:

  • A police station, sheriff’s office, state patrol station, or the office of a division of criminal investigation special agent of DOJ;
  • A prison, jail, house of correction, or secured correctional facility;
  • A mental health facility for sexually violent persons;
  • The Wisconsin Resource Center;
  • Any secured unit or secured portion of a mental health institute;
  • Any county, state, or federal courthouse;
  • Any municipal courtroom if court is in session; or
  • A place beyond a security checkpoint in an airport.9

However, licensees may carry firearms in a vehicle driven or parked in a parking facility located in one of these buildings.10

An employer may prohibit licensees that it employs from carrying a concealed weapon or a particular type of concealed weapon in the course of the licensees’ employment.11

The 2011 Wisconsin law prohibits anyone, including individuals licensed to carry concealed weapons, from carrying a firearm on residential or nonresidential private property if the owner or occupant has notified the actor not to enter or remain at the residence while carrying a firearm or with that type of firearm. Similarly, no person may carry a firearm:

  • At a special event, if the organizers of the special event have notified the actor not to;
  • In a building that is owned, occupied, or controlled by the state or any local governmental unit, if the state or local governmental unit has notified the actor not to; or
  • In any building on the grounds of a university or college, if the university or college has notified the actor not to.

These rules do not apply if the firearm is in a vehicle driven or parked in the parking facility.12 For purposes of these rules, the owner or occupant has provided notice if he or she has posted a sign that is located in a prominent place near all of the entrances to the part of the building to which the restriction applies or near all probable access points to the grounds to which the restriction applies, and any individual entering the building or the grounds can be reasonably expected to see the sign.13

Unless the property owner has posted the appropriate sign, Wisconsin has no laws prohibiting firearms in:

  • Hospitals;
  • Places of worship;
  • Sports arenas;
  • Gambling facilities; or
  • Polling places.


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  1. Wis. Stat. § 29.089(2).[]
  2. Wis. Stat. §§ 29.091(2), 29.621(4).[]
  3. Wis. Stat. §§ 29.089(2)(d), 29.091(2), 29.621(4)(d).[]
  4. Wis. Stat. § 941.235(1).[]
  5. Wis. Stat. §§ 941.235(2)(e).[]
  6. Wis. Stat. § 941.237(2).[]
  7. Wis. Stat. §§ 941.237(3)(cx).[]
  8. Wis. Stat. § 941.237(3)(e).[]
  9. Wis. Stat. § 175.60(16).[]
  10. Wis. Stat. § 175.60(16).[]
  11. Wis. Stat. § 175.60(15m)(a).[]
  12. Wis. Stat. § 943.13 (1m)(c).[]
  13. Wis. Stat. § 943.13(2)(bm)(2). The 2011 Wisconsin law also provides that a person who does not prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons on property that the person owns or occupies is immune from any liability arising from its decision. Wis. Stat. § 175.60(21)(b).[]