How to Sell a Gun in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin has some regulations in place that can make buying a gun more difficult when compared to some other states in the U.S. Buying and selling a firearm in the state of Wisconsin can be a daunting task for those entering a private sale between two non-licensed individuals. For those looking to sell their firearms to another individual, understanding state and federal regulations before entering the transaction can make a big difference. For those unfamiliar with the process of buying and selling a gun Wisconsin, CashMyGuns.com has compiled a useful guide to help buyers and sellers navigate the complicated process.
The following information is compiled from a memorandum from the Wisconsin Office of Attorney General on Wisconsin State Laws and Published Ordinances to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
What are the Requirements to Legally Purchase a Firearm in Wisconsin?
In order to purchase a firearm legally through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, the buyer must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old. No permits or registration are required to own a firearm in this state.
Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 (firearms transaction form). This form will be maintained by the dealer. A firearms purchaser must, under the permanent provisions of the Federal Brady Law, also undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check, which will be performed by the firearms dealer.
This check will indicate to the dealer whether the purchaser’s background allows for the person to complete the purchase of the firearm.
How to Conduct a Private Sale of a Firearm in Wisconsin?
In order to be in compliance with state law when conducting a private sale of a firearm between to non-licensed individuals, there is a detailed process all parties must adhere with.
Below is the legal text that deals with a private transfer of a firearms:
(2) When a firearms dealer sells a handgun, he or she may not transfer possession of that handgun to any other person until all of the following have occurred:
(a) The transferee has provided identification as required by rule under sub. (2g) (a).
(b) The transferee has completed the notification form described in sub. (2g) (b).
(c) The firearms dealer has conveyed the information from the completed notification form to the department of justice as required by rule under sub. (2g) (b) and requested a firearms restrictions record search.
(d) The firearms dealer has received an approval number regarding the firearms restrictions record search under sub. (2g) (c) from the department of justice.
(2e) When a transferee completes the notification form described in sub. (2g) (b), the transferee shall provide truthful information.
(2f) When a firearms dealer requests that the department of justice provide a firearms restrictions record search under sub. (2g), he or she shall provide truthful information about his or her status as a firearms dealer and shall provide an accurate firearms dealer identification number obtained under sub. (2h). A person may request that the department provide a firearms restrictions record search under sub. (2g) only if he or she is a firearms dealer.
(a) The department of justice shall promulgate rules prescribing procedures for a transferee to provide and a firearms dealer to inspect identification containing a photograph of the transferee.
- The department of justice shall promulgate rules prescribing a notification form for use under sub. (2) requiring the transferee to provide his or her name, date of birth, gender, race and social security number and other identification necessary to permit an accurate firearms restrictions record search under par. (c) 3. and the required notification under par. (c) 4. The department of justice shall make the forms available at locations throughout the state.
- The department of justice shall ensure that each notification form under subd. 1. requires the transferee to indicate that he or she is not purchasing the firearm with the purpose or intent to transfer the firearm to a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law and that each notification form informs the transferee that making a false statement with regard to this purpose or intent is a Class H felony.
(c) The department of justice shall promulgate rules for firearms restrictions record searches regarding transferees under sub. (2), including procedures for all of the following:
- A firearms dealer to convey the information from a completed notification form to the department using either a toll-free telephone number provided by the department or an alternative means the department provides.
- The department to provide the firearms dealer with a confirmation number confirming the receipt of the information under subd. 1.
- The department to conduct the firearms restrictions record search regarding the transferee. The rules shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement that the department use the transaction information for management of enforcement system and the national crime information center system.
- The department to notify the dealer as soon after receiving the information under subd. 1. as practicable, of the results of the firearms restrictions record search as follows:
a. If the search indicates that the transferee is prohibited from possessing a firearm under s. 941.29, the department shall provide the firearms dealer with a unique nonapproval number. The department may not disclose to the firearms dealer the reason the transferee is prohibited from possessing a firearm under s.941.29.
b. If the search indicates that the transferee is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under s. 941.29, the department shall provide the firearms dealer with a unique approval number.
c. If the search indicates that it is unclear whether the person is prohibited under state or federal law from possessing a firearm and the department needs more time to make the determination, the department shall make every reasonable effort to determine whether the person is prohibited under state or federal law from possessing a firearm and notify the firearms dealer of the results as soon as practicable but no later than 5 working days after the search was requested.
- The department of justice shall promulgate rules to convey information in a timely manner to the national instant criminal background check system regarding individuals ordered not to possess a firearm under s. 51.20 (13) (cv) 1., 51.45 (13) (i) 1., 54.10 (3) (f) 1., or 55.12 (10) (a).
- The department of justice shall promulgate rules to convey information in a timely manner to the national instant criminal background check system regarding the cancellation under s. 51.20 (13) (cv) 1m. c., 51.45 (13) (i) 2. c., 54.10 (3) (f) 2. c., or 55.12 (10) (b) 3. of an order not to possess a firearm.
(2h) Upon the request of any firearms dealer, the department of justice shall provide that firearms dealer with a unique firearms dealer identification number for use under this section.
(2i) The department shall charge a firearms dealer a $ 10 fee for each firearms restrictions record search that the firearms dealer requests under sub. (2) (c). The firearms dealer may collect the fee from the transferee. The department may refuse to conduct firearms restrictions record searches for any firearms dealer who fails to pay any fee under this subsection within 30 days after billing by the department.
(2j) A firearms dealer shall maintain the original record of all completed notification forms and a record of all confirmation numbers and corresponding approval or nonapproval numbers that he or she receives regarding firearms restrictions record searches under sub. (2g). If, under sub. (2g) (c) 1., the firearms dealer conveys the information from the notification form using the toll-free telephone number, the firearms dealer shall mail the duplicate copy of each completed notification form to the department of justice. If, under sub. (2g) (c) 1., the firearms dealer conveys the information from the notification form using the alternative means, the firearms dealer shall transmit, using a means the department approves, each completed notification form to the department of justice.
Firearm Disqualifications in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin there are both state and federal disqualifications that will prevent buyers from purchasing a gun. Wisconsin state law prohibits a person from possessing a firearm if any of the following applies:
- The person has been convicted of a felony in this state.
- The person has been convicted of a crime elsewhere that would be a felony if committed in this state.
- The person has been adjudicated delinquent for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult in this state.
- The person has been found not guilty of a felony in this state by reason of mental disease or defect.
- The person has been found not guilty of, or not responsible for, a crime elsewhere that would be a felony in this state by reason of insanity or mental disease, defect, or illness.
[s. 941.29 (1m), Stats.]
Disqualification Based on Court Order Relating to Mental Health or Addiction
Wisconsin law also prohibits persons subject to certain types of court orders related to mental health and addiction from possessing a firearm. A person is prohibited from possessing a firearm if any of the following apply and the court determines federal law prohibits the person from possessing a firearm:
- The person was involuntarily committed for mental illness, drug dependence, or alcohol dependence under ch. 51, Stats.
- The person was adjudicated incompetent by a court in a guardianship proceeding under ch. 54, Stats.
- The person was ordered into protective placement or was receiving protective services when determined to be incompetent due to a developmental disability, degenerative brain disorder, or serious and persistent mental illness under ch. 55, Stats.
[s. 941.29 (1m) (e) and (em), Stats.]
All three types of orders listed above follow court proceedings, including a hearing. In conjunction with these orders, a court must also order an individual not to possess a firearm if the court determines the individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law, and must order the seizure of any firearm owned by the individual. [ss. 51.20 (13) (cv) 1., 51.45 -4- (13) (i) 1., 54.10 (3) (f) 1., and 55.12 (10) (a), Stats.]
Generally, those restrictions remain in effect even after the corresponding order is no longer in effect. However, a person may petition a court to have the firearms order cancelled. [ss. 51.20 (13) (cv) 1m., 51.45 (13) (i) 2., 54.10 (3) (f) 2., and 55.12 (10) (b), Stats.]
Disqualification Based on Restraining Order or Injunction
Wisconsin law also prohibits the possession of firearms by individuals who are subject to certain court orders relating to abuse or harassment (sometimes referred to as “restraining orders”). Wisconsin law provides a process for a person to petition a court for an order that requires another person to refrain from certain acts against the petitioner. Obtaining one of these orders is a two-part procedure: the first step involves a petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO); the second step is to hold a hearing to determine whether to issue an injunction, which is the “final relief” in such actions. The four types of TROs and injunctions that are authorized under Wisconsin law are: domestic abuse; child abuse; individual-at-risk; and harassment. [ss. 813.12, 813.122, 813.123, and 813.125, Stats.]
A person who is subject to a domestic abuse or child abuse injunction is prohibited from possessing a firearm. [s. 941.29 (1) (f), Stats.] A person who is subject to an individual-at-risk or harassment injunction is also prohibited from possessing a firearm if ordered not to possess a firearm by the injunction. [s. 941.29 1 (g), Stats.] A court must order a person subject to an injunction and prohibited from possessing a firearm to surrender any firearms that he or she owns or has in his or her possession to a county sheriff or other person approved by the court. [ss. 813.12 (4m), 813.122 (5m), 813.123 (5m), and 813.125 (4m), Stats.]
As under Wisconsin law, federal law prohibits a person from possessing a firearm if the person is subject to certain types of restraining orders. However, the circumstances under which a person who is subject to a restraining order is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law differ somewhat from those under Wisconsin law.
Under federal law, a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm if he or she is subject to a court order, issued after a hearing, to which all of the following apply:
- The order restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child.
- The order includes a finding that the person to whom the order applies represents a credible threat to the physical safety of his or her intimate partner or the partner’s child; or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person’s intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.
[18 U.S.C. s. 922 (g) (8).]
Because the federal prohibition applies only to restraining orders that meet the above criteria, it applies to some, but not all, individuals subject to a restraining order in Wisconsin. For example, an injunction issued by a Wisconsin court that does not involve an intimate partner or intimate partner’s child would not fall within the scope of the federal restriction.
FEDERAL DISQUALIFICATION CATEGORIES
- Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
- Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
- Felony pre-trial release.
- Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
- Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
- Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
- Renounced U.S. citizenship.
- Illegal alien.
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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. CashMyGuns.com has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 10/05/21 from atf.gov/firearms/docs/guide/wisconsin-firearms-statutes-and-codes/download