Gun ownership remains a constitutional right supported at both the federal and state levels. No state argues against the right to own guns, but several do question who should have them. Even in states with strong pro-gun laws, gun owners may lose the right to legally own or use weapons after diagnosis for some mental health problems or following certain criminal convictions.
The State Bar of Wisconsin confirms that people over the age of 21 years old can own handguns, in the state. It also shares the conditions under which someone may lose the right to bear arms.
Banned from gun ownership
Generally speaking, people convicted of felonies and violent crimes cannot own or use firearms in the state. Domestic violence is one misdemeanor crime that may cause someone to lose the right to bear arms. Many people believe this comes from state laws. Several states do have laws explicitly referencing this, but the domestic violence provision originally comes from the Lautenberg Amendment, which is a federal law.
Effects of expungement
Some people believe that once they expunge their records, this may help them reclaim their rights. The Wisconsin Statutes takes away this possibility by explicitly stating that even with an expunged record, convicts remain barred. Because of this, maintaining a clear record remains the best course of action, whenever possible.
Prospective and current gun owners should also note that the law prohibiting people with specific mental illnesses from owning guns exists at the federal level. Because of this, in some instances, moving to another state may not return gun ownership rights.