Get Started
Start With a FREE Consultation: Phone Icon (262) 786-7100

Is Wisconsin a 2nd amendment sanctuary state?

Wisconsin is not a 2nd Amendment sanctuary state; it has 2nd Amendment sanctuary counties.

The Wisconsin Senate passed legislation in 2021 to declare Wisconsin a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. However, Governor Evers vetoed the legislation, and it failed to become law. Without a State-wide declaration, it has fallen to the individual counties to declare themselves to be sanctuaries. There are 72 counties in Wisconsin, and 20 have declared themselves sanctuary counties. Wisconsin is one of thirteen states where only a minority of the counties have enacted Sanctuary resolutions, declarations, or laws. These counties contain passionate advocates of the 2nd Amendment. Recently, the Sheriff of Polk County declared that he would not enforce unconstitutional federal gun regulations, and would prevent federal agents in his jurisdiction from enforcing them as well.

Payment plans

In the summer of 2020, Kenosha County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary and oppose any federal or state law that unlawfully restricts the rights of the citizens of the County to keep and bear arms. The Resolution supports the Kenosha County Sheriff in exercising discretion when enforcing unconstitutional laws and denies County funds for the use of enforcing unconstitutional laws.

Which counties are 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries in Wisconsin?

There are 20 Wisconsin counties that consider themselves 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries. These counties include:

  • Dodge
  • Florence
  • Grant
  • Kenosha
  • Lafayette
  • Langlade
  • Marquette
  • Monroe
  • Oneida
  • Ozaukee
  • Polk
  • Portage
  • Rusk
  • Sawyer
  • Shawano
  • Vilas
  • Washburn
  • Washington
  • Waukesha
  • Wood

Florence County was the first County in Wisconsin to declare itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary. In 2019, the County Board approved a resolution to support the Sheriff in exercising sound discretion to not enforce against any citizens an unconstitutional firearms law.

In 2020, the Polk County Commission passed a symbolic resolution and announced itself as Second Amendment Sanctuary. Sheriff Brent Waak of Polk County has more recently declared that he will be doing more than symbolically standing by the 2nd Amendment, In January 2023, Sheriff Waak sent a letter to Steve Dettelbach, the Director of, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, refusing to enforce the ATF's most recent mandate outlawing pistol braces.

Letter from Polk County Sheriff Brent Waak to ATF Director Steve Dettelbach

Below is the full letter that Brent Waak sent to Steve Dettelbach. Otherwise, it can also be downloaded here.

Interview with Sheriff Brent Waak

"Federal agents show up, they get a tip-off that someone in your jurisdiction has one of these devices, a pistol brace attached to a pistol. Post 120 days from the registration, ATF comes knocking in. You get a call from them asking for local cooperation. What do you tell them on the phone?"

Article I, § 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution

Right to keep and bear arms. SECTION 25. [As created Nov. 1998] The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose. [1995 J.R. 27, 1997 J.R. 21, vote Nov. 1998]

References: Wisconsin Constitution As Amended April 2020 |

What is a Second Amendment Sanctuary?

A jurisdiction that has laws in-place that prohibits or impedes the enforcement of gun laws that potentially violate the 2nd Amendment: the right to bear arms.

How many 2nd Amendment Sanctuary states are there?

17: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. Additionally, 12 other states do not have state level sanctuary statues. Rather, they have enacted their own sanctuary resolutions on a per-county basis.

Grieve Law Criminal Defense Lawyers

Divergent Family Law Attorneys