Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Wisconsin?

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There are many shooting ranges in the United States. These ranges are owned by military personnel, law enforcement personnel, or private owners. Some facilities also offer membership so that their patrons can enjoy exclusive use of their establishment.

Shooting ranges can either be indoors or outdoors, and each facility chooses which firearms are allowed and at what distance. Some facilities may require you to have a permit in line with the state laws.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Wisconsin?

No, you do not need a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Wisconsin because the state has laid back gun laws. The gun laws of the state are quite friendly and enable its citizens to buy, sell or possess firearms without having to go through much trouble.

According to Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, Wisconsin is an open carry state, meaning that anyone who is above 18 years and can legally possess a firearm can carry it in public. This is just an example of how liberal the laws are. Thus, when going to a gun range in Wisconsin, all you need to keep in mind are the state’s gun laws.

The top three things to pay attention to are:

  • Relevant permits
  • Permit procedure
  • Reciprocal carry
Two handguns

Relevant Permits

Despite its mostly liberal laws, the state of Wisconsin requires that you have a permit if you intend to carry a concealed weapon through a range backpack or a safe case. Since the gun laws are enacted at the state level, these permits are provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This is according to USCCA.

In order to be legible for the permit, you must meet several qualifications, including:

  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • You must not be prohibited by either state or federal law from owning a weapon.
  • Completion of firearms safety training is mandatory and proof of the same is needed
  • You must be a resident with valid Wisconsin identification documents or come from a reciprocal state if you are a non-resident
  • No court orders banning you from owning a firearm.

Permit Procedure

When applying for the CCW permit, you can go about it two different ways. According to Concealed Carry, you can either mail in your application or you can make an online application which is much faster. During your application, you need to pay a one off, non-refundable $40 fee to cater for the processing and mandatory background check.

You need to complete training that meets the Wisconsin CCW criteria. You can check out the DOJ website to find places that meet the requirements. Attach proof of training in your application. Once you have made the application, it takes 21 days to process for both new licenses and renewals. The license is valid for 5 years unless revoked.

Man holding his gun and not needing a permit to shoot at a gun range in Wisconsin

Reciprocal Carry

Non-residents of Wisconsin are also legible for the Concealed Carry Weapons permit. However, they must be from a state honored by Wisconsin. Only non-resident military personnel stationed in this state are considered an exception.

Apart from reciprocal states, it also accepts permits from states that have a similar mandatory background check as that of Wisconsin.

There are 29 states that honor the Wisconsin license, while Wisconsin honors licenses from about 42 states. Some of the states that honor the Wisconsin CCW are:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Mississippi
  • Kentucky
  • Iowa


Wisconsin is one of the few states with gun-friendly laws. Thus, you do not need a permit to visit the gun range. However, you are still required to follow some guidelines put in place by the ranges as well as be aware of the gun laws. They will make your stay in Wisconsin much more pleasant.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.