How to Buy a Gun in Wisconsin

January 4, 2022

Buying a Gun in Wisconsin

Wondering how to buy a gun in Wisconsin? We’ve got great news for you. Compared to many other states, buying a gun in Wisconsin is a pretty simple deal. Whether it’s your first time purchasing a firearm, or you’re a new resident to the state of Wisconsin, we’re going to walk you through the process. Purchasing a firearm can seem like a daunting task. Our goal is to help you feel confident buying a gun in Wisconsin by the time you finish reading this.

How to Legally Buy a Gun in Wisconsin

Find the Right Firearms Dealer

With so many options out there, how do you decided where to shop for you new firearm? There are a few things we think you should consider.

Find a gun store that cares. It’s pretty easy to quickly feel out whether a firearms dealer has your best interest in mind or not. When you walk in the store, does the staff greet you or pretend you don’t exist? Do they try to push certain guns on you based on what they think you need rather than working with you to find the right gun? Are they knowledgeable and able to answer all of your questions in a way you understand? These are all such important things to consider. It is crucial that the people you are buying a gun from truly want to help you.

For those wondering how to buy a gun in Wisconsin, we at Fletcher Arms make the process easy, and will have you feeling confident with your decision in shopping with us. We have a wide selection of firearms from trusted brands. We are excited about the fact that we get to talk about guns all day. Whether you have an idea of what kind of gun you’re looking for, or you have no clue – we are excited to help you find the right gun for you. If you’re in Wisconsin, come visit us in person for a great experience.

Try Out a Few Rental Guns

It’s one thing to know the facts about a gun, but nothing compares to actually shooting a gun before you buy it. Wondering how to to test a gun before buying? Find a firearms dealer with a wide variety of gun rentals. Caliber, size, etc. will all affect how a gun feels when you actually shoot. If you’ve never shot a gun before, it’s a great idea to actually try out the firearm you will be investing in before purchasing. Fletcher Arms carries a wide selection of rental guns. Whether you’re looking for a carry gun, a bed-side gun for home defense, or something else, we have plenty of guns for you to try. If you visit us on a Wednesday, you can try as many rental guns as you’d like for free with purchase of ammo! You can view all of our rental guns here.

Bring Proper Form of ID

Buying a gun in Wisconsin requires having a valid state ID with a current address. That’s the only thing you’ll need to bring. If your current ID or driver’s license has an outdated address, request a new ID from the DMV. This process can be done fully online and they will immediately email you a copy of your new license with your current address. This temporary copy of your ID will suffice as an ID for gun purchases. Other ways to verify your current address are a concealed carry license, a property tax form, or your vehicle registration. Bring any one of these forms with a current address along with your ID (with outdated address) to begin the process of buying a gun in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Background Check for Guns

There are two different types of background checks for people looking to buy a gun in Wisconsin, based on whether you’re buying a handgun or a long gun. The firearms dealer will submit your background check to the proper agency. To start with, you MUST be the actual buyer of the firearm – you cannot purchase a firearm on behalf of someone else. This is known as a “straw purchase” and is a crime.

How Old Do You Have to be to Buy a Gun in Wisconsin?

People 18 years of age and older are eligible to purchase long guns, while handguns are only eligible to be purchased by those of the age 21 years and older.

Who Can’t Buy a Gun in Wisconsin?

On all background checks, there are a series of yes or no questions that will verify whether you are eligible to buy a firearm. You can view firearm prohibitions here. Additionally, you MUST be the actual buyer of the firearm – you cannot purchase a firearm on behalf of someone else. This is known as a “straw purchase” and is a crime.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a Gun in Wisconsin?

For handguns, the state of Wisconsin has up to 5 business days to respond to all background checks. Sometimes approvals will come instantly, and some take the full 5 days. Your firearms dealer will call you when your approval has gone through.

For long guns, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has up to 30 days to respond. Again, sometimes approvals come instantly, and others take longer.

If you receive and instant approval, there is no waiting period to take your gun home in Wisconsin. You can bring your gun home with you the moment you get your approval.

What Happens if I Get Denied?

If you are denied and want more information, there is an appeals process that your firearms dealer can direct you to. Sometimes denials can be due to something that can be fixed on your part.

How to Buy a Gun Online

In the world of online shopping, you might be surprised to find out you can also buy firearms online. The process is very similar to purchasing a gun in person. If you find a gun you want online, you have the option to order that gun and have it shipped to a local firearms dealer near you. Once the firearms dealer receives your firearm, they will work with you to submit your background check. In addition to paying for the firearm online, you will also pay a transfer fee and the cost of the background check to your local firearms dealer.

At Fletcher Arms, all of our firearms in store are also available to purchase online, and we are happy to ship them off to you. We keep live inventory of all of our in stock items, and you can access our online store here. Once you find the gun you want online, give us a call and we will make arrangements to ship to your location.

How to Buy a Used Gun

The process for buying a used gun in Wisconsin is exactly the same as buying a brand new gun – whether in store or online. The same background checks are still required. Buying a used gun can be a great option to save some money while still getting a quality firearm.

Fletcher Arms carries an ever-changing selection of used firearms for you to shop. You can either come visit us in person, or visit our online used guns store and give us a call to purchase our used guns.

Private Gun Sales in Wisconsin

It is perfectly legal to privately sell a gun in the state of Wisconsin. However, you will want to be sure that the person to whom you are selling the gun can legally own a firearm. An easy way to verify that is to either personally know the person to whom you are selling the gun, or ask to see a current valid concealed carry license. Make sure to write up a bill of sales for your records.


As we said, we want you to feel confident with the process of how to buy a gun in Wisconsin. If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at (262) 549-4488. We would love to help you out.

Buying a gun in Wisconsin is a simple and straight forward process. However, the process doesn’t stop with just buying a gun. We truly believe that owning a firearm comes with the responsibility of learning to use and handle your firearm safely and effectively. At Fletcher Arms, not only are we dedicated in making the buying process something attainable and easy, but we are also dedicated to providing you with the training you’ll need to be a skilled and responsible firearms owner. Check out all of the classes we offer to build your skills and confidence here.

Buying a firearm is just the beginning of your journey, and we are here to help you through every step of the process.