Child gun laws in Wisconsin

Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Police tape marks the scene where 13-year old Giovonnie G. Cameron was shot and killed near Lincoln Park in Milwaukee on July 8.

Wisconsin gun laws prohibit children from possessing firearms, with few exceptions. And adults who leave firearms easily accessible to children could face jail time. Highlights include:

  • Allowing a child younger than 14 access to a firearm without permission of a parent or guardian is a misdemeanor if the child uses that gun to harm anyone or to show it off in a public place, unless that gun was safely stored.
  • Firearm retailers are required to provide each buyer with a written statement warning that if they leave a loaded firearm within reach of a child they could be fined or imprisoned.
  • Possession of a gun by anyone under 18 is a misdemeanor, unless that gun is being used for target practice, hunting or the child is a member of the armed forces.
  • No one under the age of 12 is allowed to hunt with a gun.
  • Giving, loaning or selling a dangerous weapon to someone under 18 is a felony and carries a sentence of up to 3½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine unless the firearm is used for target practice or hunting. If that gun is used in a homicide or suicide, the person can be charged with a felony carrying up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
  • Students who bring a firearm to school are expelled for one year and may have their driver’s license suspended for two years.
  • Anyone except a law enforcement officer who carries a firearm on school grounds is guilty of a felony, punishable by 3 ½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The Assembly and the Senate have approved a bill that would allow off-duty and former police officers to carry weapons on school grounds.
  • Firing a gun in a school zone can result in a felony, with a maximum $25,000 fine or 10 years in prison.