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Wisconsin’s New Gun Case Law
By Jeff Nass

Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs, and Educators Inc.

Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs, and Educators Inc.

Wisconsin --( Wisconsin FORCE, NRA, our friends in the Hunters Rights Coalition, and United Sportsman of Wisconsin helped pass a new gun case bill that will make handling firearms in and around motorized vehicles much more convenient and, more importantly, safer.

A special thanks to Secretary Cathy Stepp, Executive Assistant Scott Gunderson, Tim Lawhern, DNR Division of Enforcement and Science Administrator, and all of the good people at the DNR.

It has been refreshing that the DNR has been very professional in working with pro-hunting and pro-Second Amendment groups to improve our great hunting heritage in Wisconsin.

A great way to be able to show that a firearm is unloaded is to leave the action open. This is enhanced with a chamber flag. Always make sure that the firearm’s magazine is empty and, if you have a removable magazine, remove it before opening the action. With some firearms it may be difficult to leave the action open, but it may be left partially open with the colored tab of a chamber flag showing. Safety is everyone’s responsibility!

Here are some of the questions and answers on the DNR website on Wis. ACT 51.

(For more questions and answers please go to

Q: Do firearms still have to be in a case before they are placed in or on a motorized vehicle, including ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and farm implements?

A: No. Effective Nov. 19, 2011 for rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders, and Nov. 1, 2011 for handguns, firearms no longer have to be in a case in order to place them in or on a vehicle, or to transport them unloaded in or on a vehicle.

Q: Do firearms still have to be unloaded before they can be placed in or on a motorized vehicle, including ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and farm implements?

A: If the firearm is a loaded rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader, it can only be placed on the top or exterior of a vehicle which is stationary. It is important to be aware that it remains illegal to place a loaded rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader inside any motorized vehicle or to actually load any rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader while the firearm or person loading the firearm is still inside the vehicle. All long guns must be outside of a motorized vehicle before a person may load these firearms. A loaded firearm can be set down on the top or exterior of a stationary vehicle, but it must be unloaded before the firearm is placed inside or transported in or on the vehicle.

Q: Is there anytime when a person is allowed to actually load a firearm when they are still in or on a motorized vehicle?

A: Yes. Handguns can be loaded by a person in or on a motorized vehicle. In addition, certain disabled individuals who hold a Class A or B hunt from a vehicle permit are still allowed to load a firearm and hunt from a stationary motorized vehicle.

Q: Now that it is legal to place a loaded uncased firearm on a vehicle, is it also legal for a person to be sitting on the exterior of the vehicle holding the loaded uncased firearm.

A: Yes, provided the vehicle remains stationary.

Wi-FORCE promotes and protects the shooting sports, hunting, and the lawful ownership and use of firearms in Wisconsin. We coordinate match schedules of member clubs, sanction the state championship matches, monitor and recommend legislation, and provide training and educational programs for our members, competitors and Wisconsin shooters. Wi-FORCE supports the interaction and education of all individuals and groups interested in the shooting sports and the natural right of citizens to own arms. Visit:

  • One User comment to “Wisconsin’s New Gun Case Law”

    1. Ronald Hribar on November 18, 2011 at 10:57 AM said:

      If the vehicle is parked off the road can you sit inside with a loaded weapon.
      And what is definition of road.

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