Milwaukee Concealed Carry Attorney
Concealed Carry Defense Representation in Waukesha and Kenosha Counties
In the state of Wisconsin, you can only carry a concealed weapon if you have a valid license. Individuals who are at least 21 years old can apply for a concealed carry permit – formally called a Wisconsin Concealed Weapons License (CWL) – through the state’s Department of Justice.
Wisconsin is also an open carry state, meaning you can in many cases carry a loaded weapon in public without a license. However, someone can be charged with a concealed carry violation if they inadvertently or deliberately “conceal” a weapon they intended to openly carry.
When facing these and other weapon charges, you need a legal advocate who is committed to fighting for you and your rights. At Lee Law Firm LLC., we make it our mission to promote equal justice and provide the best possible defense representation. Our Milwaukee concealed carry lawyer is a former prosecutor who has a deep understanding of Wisconsin law. After reviewing the facts of your case, we will explore all available legal options and fervently fight for you every step of the way.
When Does “Open Carry” Become “Concealed Carry” in Wisconsin?
Many people charged with concealed carry violations do not intentionally conceal their weapons and therefore do not realize they are breaking the law. If you do not have a concealed carry permit recognized by the state of Wisconsin but are carrying a firearm, your weapon must always be fully visible to everyone around you.
A weapon may be considered “concealed” under Wisconsin law if:
- Any portion of the weapon is covered by your shirt or clothing
- The weapon is placed in a purse, briefcase, or bag
- The weapon is placed in your vehicle’s glove box or center console
- The weapon is placed in your passenger seat
Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin. Punishments include up to 9 months of incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines. The court will consider your criminal history, character, and the unique circumstances of your case when deciding a sentence. A concealed carry conviction will also generally appear in background checks and may limit your ability to secure housing or employment.
You can also be charged with a concealed carry violation in connection with other criminal offenses. For example, if you are pulled over and arrested for OWI, you may also face concealed carry charges if the police officer discovers a gun in your glove box.
Hiring a capable legal professional can help you get concealed carry charges dropped or reduced. Regardless of whether your case is settled out of court or goes to trial, our team at Lee Law Firm LLC. focuses on results. We know what is at stake, and our Milwaukee concealed carry attorney will work tirelessly to obtain the best possible outcome.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon is a class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin, punishable by up to 9 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
– While many believe that a firearm can be transported in the glove box or the center console of their vehicle, doing so results in a violation.
In State v. Fisher, 2006 WI 44, 290 Wis. 2d 121, 714 N.W.2d 495, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that only in extraordinary circumstances does an individual carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle demonstrate that his interest in the state constitutional right to keep and bear arms for security substantially outweighs the state’s interest in prohibiting that individual from carrying a concealed weapon in his motor vehicle. Therefore, the individual’s right to possess a firearm under the state and federal constitutions is not violated when the State prosecutes an individual for carrying such a firearm when it is concealed in their car.
However, the safe transport statute expressly permits the transportation of a firearm in a vehicle, so long as the firearm is either unloaded or is a handgun. Wis. Stat. § 167.31(2)(b)1. This statute provides that “no person may place, possess, or transport a firearm … in or on a vehicle, unless … The firearm is unloaded or is a handgun.”
In State v. Walls, 190 Wis. 2d 65, 526 N.W.2d 765 (Ct. App. 1994), the court recognized (but did not hold) that the transportation of a firearm in a vehicle when in compliance with the safe transport statute does not constitute “going armed” with a concealed weapon.
This means that conduct authorized by the safe transport statute, such as transporting a handgun, appears to be prohibited by the statute banning the carrying of a concealed weapon. This seems conflicting and raises a significant question as to whether the carrying a concealed weapon statute actually provides fair notice of its prohibitions to an ordinary person who transports a firearm inside a vehicle.
On March 13, 2017, in State v. Brian Grandberry, 2016AP173-CR (an accepted a Petition for Review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court) addressed this particular issue. Grandberry was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after police stopped the car he was driving and found a loaded pistol in the glove compartment. He argued that the state cannot prove that he was “going armed” with the gun because the safe transport statute permitted him to have a gun in the glove box. The court of appeals disagreed, holding that Grandberry needed a concealed carry permit in order to transport the gun. On April 10, 2018, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the appeals court decision. The Court found that the Concealed Carry Statute and Safe Transport Statute are not in conflict because Grandberry could have complied with both by either obtaining a license to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 175.60 or by placing his loaded handgun out of reach.
To lower the penalties for a carry concealed weapon charge, there are a number of variables taken into consideration. These include your criminal history, your character as well as the details of the case. It is critical to have a skilled attorney that understands your background and who is familiar with navigating the system. Your attorney at Lee Law Firm will advise you in this process and fervently fight for you whether your case goes to trial or the goal is to decrease your penalties.
At Lee Law Firm LLC., we are committed to walking with you in every step of the process. To build a defense, we conduct an individual consultation and review the facts of your case against the elements of the charges. With specific exceptions, a person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon if he or she “goes armed with” a concealed and dangerous weapon. Wis. Stat. § 941.23(1)(ag). A person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile when the weapon is located inside a vehicle and is within the defendant’s reach; the defendant is aware of the presence of the weapon; and the weapon is concealed, or hidden from ordinary view. Consultations vary from case to case and meeting with you will allow us to build the best defense for your case.