Under Wisconsin gun laws, selling, possessing or transporting a machine gun or other fully automatic gun is a Class H felony, and modifying a weapon to make it fully automatic is a Class F felony.
Machine Guns & Weapons Use Wisconsin Fines & Penalties
Criminal Defense Attorney for 941.26 Machine Guns and Other Weapons In Certain Cases, Fines & Penalties in Wisconsin
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People Are Not Guilty Unless They Are Convicted
The following legal code may be outdated. Grieve Law makes no claims regarding the accuracy of the below. If you are facing criminal charges you should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Tom Grieve is an experienced gun attorney and zealous 2nd amendment advocate with offices in Madison & Milwaukee. He helps Wisconsin gun owners with:
Overview of Wisconsin Statute 941.26: Machine guns and other weapons
The statute defines a "machine gun" as any weapon that automatically discharges more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger. Included in this definition are guns that can be readily restored. Per the definition, any parts designed for use in converting a firearm into a machine gun or a “fully automatic firearm, and any combination of parts in the possession or control of a person.
The law prohibits the sale, possession, use or transport of any machine gun or fully automatic firearm (a Class H felony). It also prohibits the modification of a weapon into a fully automatic firearm (a Class F felony). However, the law does not prohibit the manufacture, sale, or transport of machine guns to the armed force or police officers.
The only provision allowing for possession of a machine gun is if it is for scientific purpose, if the gun is not usable and is only kept as a “curiosity, ornament, or keepsake,” or if the machine gun has been adapted to use pistol cartridges for purposes "not manifestly aggressive."
Under Federal law, machine guns have to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and it is illegal to own or transfer possession of machine guns made after May 19, 1986. Additionally, the ATF included guns with bump stocks under the definition of “machine gun” in December, 2018 and as of March 26, 2019 bump stocks have been banned.
The statute also includes laws prohibiting the sale, possession, use or transport of any tear gas, bomb, hand grenade, projectile, shell or other container into which tear gas or a similar substance used to cause physical discomfort, panic or damage to property is inserted. Charges for violating this law range from forfeitures to misdemeanors and felonies. The only exceptions are for police officers, the armed forces and the National Guard.
This overview is only intended to provide a summary of Wisconsin’s laws on machine guns and is subject to changes in the law. If you are facing charges involving ownership, possession, use or sale of machine guns or tear gas, you need an experienced gun rights attorney. Tom Grieve is a criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee with extensive experience representing gun owners in all types of cases. Take advantage of a free initial legal consultation.
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In Wisconsin, how long does a Machine Guns charge stay on your record?
Owning just 1 machine gun in Wisconsin, even if it�s 70 years old, could lead to a machine gun possession charge, which would remain on someone�s record for life.