Wisconsin Possession of a Firearm in a Public Building Lawyer
Hart Powell, S.C. attorneys believe that every person has a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, as much as every person has a right to live, work, and go to school in safety and without fear. Wisconsin gun laws protect a gun owner’s right to retain arms to a limited extent.
There are certain areas in Wisconsin, and any state, where you cannot bear a weapon because of the threat a gun would pose in that particular place. Because of the number and complexity of the rules surrounding gun use in this state, responsible, license-holding gun owners can be shocked to find themselves charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony charge for carrying a gun in an area that they believed to be sanctioned for gun carrying.
If you have been charged with possession of a firearm in a public building, contact the firearm offense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. today. Firearm offenses are serious criminal charges and can lead to jail time and hefty fines. It is imperative that you hire an attorney immediately if you have been charged with a firearm offense. Many charges relating to firearms are the result of misunderstandings between the police, the accused, and the law. Gun laws, especially in Wisconsin, are complex and require an experienced lawyer to interpret.
The firearm offense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. have the knowledge, resources, and years of experience helping reduce or even eliminate the charges of individuals in violation of Wisconsin gun laws. Contact us today at (414) 271-9595 to learn more about how we can help you protect your future.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Your greatest resource and strongest advocate after being accused of a firearm crime is a lawyer. Talking to local law enforcement or verbally defending yourself, even if you are innocent, is a risky move. Anything you say could be used against you in court. The best course of action is to comply with police orders and hire legal representation. An attorney will walk you through the legal process step by step. When you’re facing criminal charges, it can be intimidating. An attorney will keep you organized and in control, combing through the facts of the case and presenting a compelling argument for the reduction of your punishment. With a lawyer on your side, you are more likely to face a reduced sentence, a not-guilty verdict, or even dropped charges.
Why Hart Powell, S.C.?
At Hart Powell, S.C., we have years of experience leading our clients out of legal misunderstandings regarding firearms. We understand that this offense is serious and could have damaging effects on your job, your personal life, and your finances. Our policy is thoroughness. We know the law, and we know the strategies that prosecutors use. We pay close attention to detail so that none of the facts of your case are left unexamined. We will explore all possible ways to reduce the punishments levied against you. Every member of our team will aggressively protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly under the law. We know that being served criminal charges can make it feel like you’ve lost control; all of a sudden, your life has changed, and now you might have to contend with jail time and fines. For years, our team has helped clients remain in control of their lives and helped reduce the disruption that criminal charges present.
What is the Law Surrounding Possession of a Firearm in a Public Building?
Wisconsin law regarding firearms is dense and difficult to decipher. The best way to understand it is with the help of an experienced attorney who knows how to interpret the law and can explain its intricacies. Hart Powell attorneys have decades of experience in dealing with firearms-related cases and are ready to take on even the most nuanced and complex cases that Milwaukee has to offer. Please call us at (414) 271-9595 today to speak with a Hart Powell attorney to discuss your legal options in depth. However, the basics of the law regarding firearms in public buildings are as follows.
It is illegal to carry a firearm at any point or in any location without a Wisconsin concealed carry license. Though the state of Wisconsin allows residents with licenses to openly carry firearms in most places, many laws prohibit even the concealed carry of a weapon with a license in certain areas. Any person who enters a public building (a building owned or leased by the state of Wisconsin) without a concealed carry license while armed with a firearm is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. However, this law does not apply to everyone. Law enforcement officials of any state and citizens with concealed carry licenses are exempt. Those owning licenses, also called licensees, are those individuals with concealed carry permits issued by the state of Wisconsin or any other state in the country. Because of the different elements of this rule and its different applications to different persons, this law can often be confused. Retired law officers, law officers from other states, and other individuals may be erroneously punished with possession of a firearm misdemeanor in Wisconsin.
Individuals in public buildings in Wisconsin with a concealed carry license from another state or country are, for example, charged with a class A misdemeanor based on a misunderstanding of this law. It is important that all aspects of your individual case are considered so our attorneys can best determine if mistakes have been made by law enforcement.
Wisconsin’s law details specifics on public and private locations where firearms are permitted or prohibited. They are as follows:
- Schools: Carrying a weapon into a public or private school (or on school grounds, within 1000 feet of the actual school building) is prohibited, though there are limited exceptions to this law. This offense can be punished with a felony.
- Law Enforcement Stations: It is illegal to possess a firearm in police stations, sheriff stations, or state patrol buildings.
- Prisons and Jails: It is illegal to possess a firearm in prisons, jails, or any state corrections facilities.
- Courtrooms: Carrying a firearm into a Wisconsin courthouse (federal, state, or municipal) is prohibited
- Airports: Beyond TSA security checkpoints, it is illegal to possess a firearm. Firearms can be placed legally in checked baggage, with a concealed carry license. However, you must make sure to check any firearm laws pertaining to states that you travel to if you plan to leave the state of Wisconsin.
- Mental Health Facilities: It is illegal to carry a firearm into a state mental health facility.
- On Property with a Warning: It is the right of land and property owners to provide notice that guns are not allowed on their property or in their structures. If the owner provides a warning (either orally or in writing), it is illegal to carry a weapon onto the premises.
- Parking Lots: Wisconsin law does allow individuals with licenses to carry firearms when in the parking lots of structures. However, exceptions do apply to this rule as well: Individuals are not permitted to have firearms in the parking lots of federal buildings.
Even if you have a license, you cannot carry firearms in any of the above-listed locations.
What is the Penalty for Breaking the Law?
The penalties for breaking Wisconsin’s firearms laws vary based on location, type of weapon, and the presence or absence of a concealed carry permit. The penalties range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class I felony. Class A misdemeanors are punishable with up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Class I felonies are punishable with up to $10,000 in fines and up to three years and six months in prison.
These convictions are as serious as they seem. The only way to ensure that you receive the absolute minimum punishment is to hire an experienced criminal firearm offense attorney. There are many possible defenses for firearm charges, but only a lawyer will be able to investigate the details of your case and select the most strategic defense for you.
An attorney will have an inherently deeper grasp on Wisconsin’s gun laws. Self-advocating in firearm possession cases can in some cases cost you a huge amount of time, stress, and financial loss. Even if you believe your case to be a simple misunderstanding, you may find yourself facing time in prison if you are unable to build a compelling case.
Though many people believe they will save money by forgoing a lawyer, in most cases even after paying lawyer’s fees, clients save exponential amounts of money and limit the amount of time spent in court by choosing satisfactory legal representation.
If you have been accused of possession of a firearm in a public building, it is essential you contact the firearm offense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 today. Do not delay in seeking experienced, resourceful, and knowledgeable legal representation. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss how we can defend you.