Information on Wisconsin law

I have looked everywhere I can think of and have even talked with the local police chief, but have gotten nowhere fast as well as talking to attorneys who simply advised speaking with the local chief of police. So that’s that.

fer’ cryin’ out loud I couldn’t even git’ the guy to tell me what kind of ammo they issue or recommend or what’s mostly used by the peace officers he was so evasive and standoffish.

I would like to know, but can not locate anywhere, what the law in the state of Wisconsin is pertaining to keeping a so-called ‘trunk gun’.

I want to keep a loaded but un-chambered Springfield 5.56 PISTOL as designated by the NFA and SOLD by Springfield as a PISTOL (not a Rifle and not an Other as I’m confident most know by now) in the trunk of my vehicle.

The local chief here, after months and months of pressing him and hounding him to respond stated that they would consider it like the existing laws for rifles, but refused to further detail what that meant and I got tired of his evasiveness, so I’m trying to specifically find out what the letter of Wisconsin law states about a licensed CC (five states) keeping this 5.56 legally designated PISTOL in the trunk with a loaded magazine in the well and another loaded mag in a cloth material mag holder mounted to the handguard.

I’ve also been even trying to get information on just plain finding out what the law is regarding just keeping a long arm in the vehicle. What, where, how, if legal, etc. and can not even get that information straight forward.

I just want to be able to know and differentiate the differences in legalities between keeping a long arm and the Springfield 5.56 PISTOL in a vehicle and can not get to that stage, and God knows how I’ve been trying.

What I’ve read about being concealed or must not be concealed, loaded, unloaded with separation of ammo and firearm, locked separately from each other is all I keep reading and can not for the life of me make heads or tales of the way they are written and conveyed. As I said, they are all very convoluted in disseminating that information and I can’t tell if they mean it is OK or if they mean it is illegal by the soundings of them all.

It just seems to be all over the map, so I’m asking for some help here without being told to seek legal counsel or the local crabby police constable for advice.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I can only say this, in most states you have to keep the ammo and pistol separate and the pistol has to be where you cannot get to it easily. Some states go as far as you can have the pistol in th main area of the vehicle but the ammo has to be in the trunk. Sorry, I know not much help but that is all I could come up with. I know with my ffl the laws can be a real pain in the butt, and carrying accross state lines can get hairy. The only advantage I have is I am a federal leo so my credentials trump everything else.

Thank you for your efforts Edward, but this is basically a short barrel AR-15 rifle that is only designated by the ATF and NFA as a pistol.

As far as regular pistols are concerned, since I have five state licenses to carry, I don’t have to be concerned with the separation of ‘regular’ pistol and ammo laws as I can legally carry a loaded firearm on my person, store in the car or trunk or wherever I wish. That law only applies to persons not having a weapon’s license, but thank you just the same for your efforts. Very much appreciated sir.

Hi @fox, what exactly is your question? Is it can you carry a loaded 5.56 pistol in your truck in Wisconsin?

Why would you want to keep a loaded gun in your trunk?

Do you have a CCP in Wisconsin? Which gun is it specifically? (You can PM me directly if you don’t want to tell everyone what gun you have.)

Hi Missy Miss Dawn

It is the first year model of the Springfield Saint 223/5.56 PISTOL. PHYSICALLY it is likened to a short barreled AR-15 with a forearm/wrist stabilizing brace instead of a stock. For all intents and purposes and so as not to ruffle the ATF or NFA, I say ‘likened’ to instead of actually calling it an SBR (short-barreled rifle) because the firearm comes from the factory and is registered by NFA regulations, descriptions and standards as a PISTOL classification because of it’s length and the length not causing it to be an SBR because of the combination barrel length used and forearm brace; therefore, a PISTOL. Yet because it is still in reality an AR-15, the local chief of police here said they would treat it like a rifle EVEN THOUGH the ATF and NFA have LEGALLY classified it and classified it as a LEGAL PISTOL due to its manufacturing and makeup characteristics. This is why it’s usually called a ‘trunk gun’. In reality, pulling off the stabilizer brace and replacing it with an AR-15 stock or collapsible stock would then render it illegal as an SBR. That is the only difference between it being called a pistol and a regular AR-15 rifle. They are the same save for the rear stock/brace and the lengths of the barrels. I also want to use a Mossberg Shockwave 12 GA which is the SAME PRINCIPLE as the Saint, only it has what is called a bird’s raptor grip and again, a short barrel. Either that or a Remington 870 TAC 14. They are both virtually the same but only by different manufacturers using different model nomenclatures. They too are NOT classified coming out of the factories as shotguns, but rather LEGALLY classified as a ‘firearm’, or a ‘pistol grip firearm’ in its full description for whatever that means to the ATF and NFA. I can not get clarifications anywhere on this one as well. Either one is basically like the Saint, but are NOT classified as a SBS (short-barreled shotgun). Both company models are basically identical if you look them up under Mossberg Shockwave and Remington 870 TAC 14. In either case they are both described as a ‘pistol grip firearm’ due to the style and makeup of the bird raptor grip used. They are not a shoulder fired shotgun in other words. They are LEGALLY CLASSIFIED as a ‘pistol grip firearm’. Once again, removing the bird raptor grip and replacing it with a regular shotgun stock then turns them into illegal SBS’s. Hope these descriptions give you what you need. Because I sure as heck can’t get anyone to understand, let alone attorney’s I’ve spoken with and the crabby local chief of police in my town. Thanks Dawny girlee.

I’m going to check with our legal expert and see what she can find for us.

Well thank you 'dere dear young lady. Much appreciated. If you get me the answers then I will keep my promise and extend my hand in marriage…lol…hahahaha…

@Fox, At this point, I’m not as interested in the answer to the question as I am to how Dawn deals with the creepy factor in your messages.


and so you feel that your’re on fb with that class of people that allows you to belittle others by trolling ‘em on this site. Well then, kudos to you for that if that’s ur’ shtick. I’ve been to the corporate headquarters and met everyone there personally. They know me and they know my character that I mean nothing by it. It’s called being happy in life. Try it sometime. You’ll like it CLYDE.

Basically you want to know if you can keep an AR pistol in your vehicle. Unchambered, but with a full magazine inserted so it’d be ready to go with a rack of the charging handle?

Keep in it the trunk with a loaded mag in the mag well, a loaded mag in the cloth mag case attached to the hand guard and not charged. As you stated, ready to go with only having to rack and chamber a round. I’m not asking for that part because of laws. I’m asking that part because I just don’t personally want it chambered is all. That part of the issue is just my own personal choice. I’m also asking for the SAME, SIMILAR information using either a Mossberg Shockwave 12GA or a Remington 870 TAC 14 12 GA as well. They both are virtually identical ‘bird raptor pistol grip firearms’ with short barrels as also designated by the ATF and NFA, so if they’re not classified as shotguns or short barreled shotguns (SBS) by the alphabet agencies, then I’d like to have the option to change 'em out from either ‘pistol’ to ‘bird raptor pistol grip firearm’ and vise-versa at will. Makes life more doable that way for me. lol Capish Amigo? lol Thanks Justin. Very much appreciate your help dude. Thanks.

So, I’m going to start with several disclaimers. First, I’m from Tx and my knowledge of Wi is coming from my Google-foo. Second, I’m not a lawyer so take my Opinion with a grain of salt. Third, I would, for sure, listen to @Dawn or one of the USCCA lawyer’s opinions if they differ from mine at all.

You’re issue, as you probably know, comes down to definitions in the law and how they’re interpreted. I’m going to address the AR pistol only as the shottie “firearms” are an even more difficult category and fall into a weird gray area currently.

An AR pistol appears to technically qualify as a handgun in Wi definitions. It is technically not a SBR and it is designed to be operated with one hand (the actual true function of the pistol braces is to stabilize the pistol better so you can). That being said, from what the chief said, the police would consider it a long gun, so in the end you would have to deal with that as a legal fight if it came down to it. Question is whether you want the chance to be the “test case” and fight that headache.

Now, from what I can tell Wi also has a pretty straightforward rule for long guns and transporting them. Unloaded. Period. You again have a definition issue though. In Tx the wording is “readily dischargeable” (the law I’m referencing actually pertains to a child’s access, but is the only hard identifier that I know of) and is applicable if a loaded mag is in the gun, even if not charged.

Really sounds to me like your best option would be to not have a mag inserted (you’ll need clarification on where the mag can be located as I didn’t go that deep into it). This really shouldn’t slow you down too much though. “Trunk guns”, “Truck guns”, “back seat guns”, etc… aren’t generally going to be an immediate response thing. Generally something you’ll move to for a little more firepower, so inserting a mag and charging shouldn’t hamper you much more than just charging imo.

Hope this at least helps towards the right path and hopefully you can get a solid USCCA answer shortly.

Well thank you very much for all of that Justin. That was extremely kind of you to put that much effort into your search for me and it is very much appreciated. I am always thankful to those extending help. It underscores to me that there is much goodness in mankind yet. So thank you. As for all of the precursor legal jargon you mentioned in the beginning, I fully understand that and I don’t think there is anyone that understands that more than I. Regarding my choice to be a test bed, that would be a resounding no as I’m way too old to be dealing with peace officers at this stage of my life. So I’m not going to even entertain going down that road. As for treating the AR as a long gun, by the way you described the laws pertaining to that and the way that I am understanding you would just make the whole point moot then and just wouldn’t even be worth it regarding either legal worries or actual real use, so that seems to be that with rifle carry. I swear to God that the government entities create all of this by design to purposely complicate matters as if almost wanting to entertain entrapment of the citizenry. I’m not so sure about Dawn getting attorney’s involved because I’ve already directly had long conversations with their head attorney Tom Grieve who does the monthly video shows with Kevin and he too couldn’t pin anything down and was actually the one who recommended I speak with the chief and we already know how that went down. But do you see what I mean now. This is a hell maze with no entrances or exits and everlasting torment. This is exactly what ‘they’ want to do to us. Wear us down until we give up the good fight. But once again Justin, thank you for fighting that good fight with me and going down with the ship together as well sir. LOL I’ll keep researching though. I’m not ready just yet to throw in the towel.

No, Fox–I’m not trying to belittle you. The people here don’t know the relationships you have with others–it came across as overly personal and somewhat uncomfortable in a public forum.


OK. I understand. I thought I wrote it with enough dramatism that it would clearly come off to others as just pushin’ her comedic buttons, because I too was and am always well aware that I am in a crowd with people from all over. Thanks for returning and letting me know that. It’s appreciated.

All good, brother.

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Official response from our reciprocity guru:

He has his WI ccw, so since this firearm is considered a pistol he can carry it loaded anywhere in his vehicle so long as he has his permit on his person. If he didn’t have his ccw, he could only open carry it above the window line in full view. We would recommend that he have a copy of the ATF letter documenting that his firearm is a pistol and he must recognize he may have to explain to a LEO or DA that it is a pistol, which may be a bit of a hassle for him. I hope this helps. Please let me know if I missed something.

Does that work for you, @fox?


Thank you very much for that Dawn. That is the most clearest, concise and direct to the point answer I’ve received to date, so thank you very much to the both of you guys. I hate to further trouble you, but I had also asked about the Shockwave and/or Remington 870 TAC 14 12 Gauges as well. I know absolutely NOTHING about shot shell arms in vehicle carry or CC carry and need that one addressed as well. They are basically the same concept, except instead of a rimfire cartridge they would be shot shells. Their legal manufacturing terminologies by law, ATF and NFA standards are all clearly explained in my last letter. My intention is to use either/or depending on the time, my travels, etc. (*switching between AR or shot shell arms) while additionally I would just plain flat-out like to know what Wisconsin laws are relating to regular plain ol’ rifles in general (long arms) with regard to vehicle carry and CC carry -OR- if they are only allowed in vehicular transport to and from hunting or ranges as is the case for NON CC holders using their rifles for transport only in those case references. Having those last two issues will finally put to rest years of searching that I’ve been doing and the resultant knots on my head from the only returns I’ve received so far coming from something akin to having been banging my head against a brick wall. Thank you very much for everything thus far to date Dawn. It is all very much appreciated. Thank you and extend my thanks to the attorney as well. The ONLY STATEMENT I have to make here in conclusion is that it is an absolute shame that LEO have to be shown statements of manufacture to those effects and be constantly updated on such things when in fact they are the ones doing the enforcement of law and it would seem only fair and logical that they, as the professionals and professionally trained, should be the ones on the hallmarks of firearm changes if only for the necessity of that knowledge for when making stops and arrests. Right now the onus, proof, financial costs and other burdens fall on the populace while leaving each peace officer free to continue on with disregard the disparages they cause to the peoples. Just not right, not fair and it’s certainly not by ANY means JUSTICE! Thank you both again guys.