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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Wisconsin law forbids individuals from carrying or operating a firearm while they are “under the influence of an intoxicant,” though no numerical definition of intoxication is provided. The law defines “under the influence” as the state in which a person’s alcohol consumption makes it so that their ability to “handle a firearm or airgun is materially impaired.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the law forbidding intoxicated firearm use was constitutional and did not violate the Second Amendment. The ruling came in the case of a Madison man who carried a gun while drunk in his apartment during an argument with roommates. The man had claimed self-defense, but multiple courts rejected that defense.

State law also bars anyone armed with a handgun from premises that have Class B liquor licenses — which allow liquor sales and on-premises consumption. 

 This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: 941.20

Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: 939.22(42)

Wisconsin Courts: Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling on State of Wisconsin v. Christen

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Even in your own home, you can’t carry a gun while drunk unless acting in self-defense

Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: 941.237

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.