Wisconsin gun laws require background checks, but ignore private sales
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Licensed firearms dealers in the state of Wisconsin are required to initiate background checks on gun buyers.
As the owner of Monsoor’s Sport Shop in La Crosse, Roger Wendling says the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms consistently stays in contact with him.
“ATF comes around and checks our books to make sure we’re doing a good job,” Wendling said.
Wendling, a licensed firearms dealer, adds that documentation is required to initiate background checks.
“You need to be 18 to buy a long gun and then 21 to buy a handgun,” Wendling said. “You go through a background check one style with a long gun and then you do some extra paperwork for the state on a handgun,” he added.
Despite licensed firearm dealers like Wendling, the Giffords Law Center reports that private sellers of guns in Wisconsin are not required to initiate background checks.
The state of Wisconsin does not allow for many exceptions in its gun laws, according to La Crosse-based attorney Chris Zachar. For example, anyone convicted of a felony anywhere in the U.S. cannot buy a gun in Wisconsin.
“We just had a case where somebody who had an old felony for unpaid child support is now prevented from purchasing a firearm,” Zachar said. “But if you’re convicted of a violent misdemeanor for instance, you are perfectly eligible to purchase a firearm,” he added.
The state of Wisconsin does not allow felons, anyone being committed due to a mental health issue, and anyone subject to a domestic abuse restraining order to buy a firearm anywhere statewide.
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