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What Should I Know about Self Defense in Wisconsin?

What Should I Know about Self Defense in Wisconsin?

You may feel unsafe on your own, whether it be in public or in the privacy of your own home. Due to this uncertain feeling, you may wish to carry a weapon for self-defense purposes, just like the millions of Americans who own handguns and other self-defense weapons. Our weapons crimes attorneys at Ahmad & Associates share what you should know before purchasing and carrying a weapon for self-defense purposes.


You may feel concerned about your safety in public and wish to carry a weapon. Carrying a weapon in self-defense is legal in Wisconsin, so long as you follow certain guidelines.

You are legally protected if you threaten or use a weapon against an individual to prevent “unlawful interference” or other actions that can cause death or bodily harm. If you do use a weapon for self-defense measures, it should not be to intentionally “cause death or great bodily harm” unless you believe the individual will cause great harm to you or another individual.

Concealed Weapons

Concealed weapons are illegal to carry in Wisconsin except if you have been permitted by the state of Wisconsin or another reciprocal state to carry concealed weapons. Those with concealed carry permits should be aware that there are locations where they are unable to carry a concealed weapon, including police stations, prisons, courthouses, airport terminals, school grounds, and locations where alcohol can be consumed.



Wisconsin is an open carry state, meaning that anyone who can legally possess a firearm can carry a loaded gun in public. However, not everyone can carry a handgun in public due to Wisconsin’s gun ownership regulations. Wisconsinites can own a gun if:

  • They are over the age of 21,
  • They are not a convicted felon,
  • They have not been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges,
  • They do not have any expunged felony convictions.

Similarly to concealed carry weapons, you cannot open carry a gun in certain locations, such as school grounds, airport terminals, prisons, police stations, courthouses, and other protected locations.

To learn more about open-carrying guns, read our blog, Wisconsin Gun Laws.

Are Tasers Legal in Wisconsin?

No, tasers are not legal  in the state of Wisconsin. Tasers, also called Stun Guns, are prohibited from ownership, use, sale, and shipment. While an effective weapon, stun guns can be extremely harmful to the individual used upon, and can cause great bodily harm.

Tasers are often found online and sold in combination with pepper sprays due to their small size and the nature of the weapon. If you do purchase a pepper spray, make sure it is not sold with an accompanying stun gun, as you will be unable to possess one in Wisconsin.

Pepper Spray

Common with college students and realtors, pepper spray is a deterrent that can fight off attackers using a single canister. Made in multiple forms, such as fogger, liquid stream, gel, and foam, pepper sprays can be highly effective for those in close proximity to their attackers.

Wisconsinites can carry pepper spray for protection as long as they meet certain criteria:

  • They are at least 18 years old,
  • They are not a convicted felon,
  • The pepper spray’s volume is less than two ounces,
  • The O.C. concentration is less than 10%, and
  • The pepper spray is not disguised as another item, such as a lipstick tube.

When carrying pepper spray, it is important to practice using the weapon safely and ensure it does have a cover over its trigger button to prevent accidental use. Many pepper sprays come with a guard that must be slid to the side or flipped up before use.

To follow Wisconsin’s regulation that pepper spray must not be disguised as car keys or other household items, pepper spray containers are often bright colors, such as neon pink, bright purple, or even bedazzled with rhinestones.

Pocket Knives

Wisconsin’s self-defense laws do not cover knives, as they are not typically considered “dangerous weapons” by the state. Citizens can carry knives for self-defense purposes both in and outside their homes, even concealed in a purse or pocket.


Carrying a weapon for self-defense may help you feel safe when out in public or your own home. Our weapons crimes attorneys understand the importance of feeling safe and can represent you if you are charged with a related weapons crime.

Were you arrested for using a self-defense weapon? Our weapons crimes attorneys can help you fight your charges. Call us at (414) 501-5999 to schedule a consultation today.