Wisconsin Sees Surge in Gun Ownership
State's new conceal carry law and Sandy Hook school shooting prompts increase in calls to background check hotline, newspaper reports.
When Wisconsin's conceal carry law took effect in November 2011, gun sales in the state jumped. And the trend continued throughout 2012, according to reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A Dec. 27 story reported the background check hotline for handgun purchases has handled 60 percent more calls in 2012 over 2011. At that time, the newspaper reported, "the hotline handled 132,940 calls. For all of 2011, it received 88,895 calls."
Part of that number, the Journal Sentinel reported, was a spike in interest in buying guns after the Sandy Hook school shooting, when more than 2,000 additional calls went to the hotline in the week after the shooting compared to the week before.
In November, the JS reported on the steady boost in gun sales on the one-year anniversary of when concealed carry became legal in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice told Patch that there have been 164,788 concealed carry applications submitted, and 149,055 licenses approved since the law took effect.
Walmart stores in some states reporting they sold out of semi-automatic rifles in the days after the Sandy Hook shooting. But that shooting also prompted some retailers to take certain gun models off the shelves.
Interested in buying a gun?
There are stores, like The Shooters Shop (http://www.shootersshop.com) and Shorty's Shooting Sports (http://shortysshootingsports.com) in West Allis, and Waukesha's Fletcher Arms (http://www.fletcherarms.com), that specialize in firearms. Guns may also be purchased at Gander Mountain, Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods stores.
Private sales of firearms are legal in Wisconsin, and this could be at a gun show http://gunshowtrader.com/gunshows/wisconsin or through a classified ad, like you can find at armslist.com.
Highlights of Wisconsin firearms laws
- As of Nov. 1, 2011, Wisconsin residents became eligible to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon.
- Weapons are prohibited in courthouses, police stations, prisons and jails, mental health treatment facilities, airports and schools, as well as on properties where owners have posted signs prohibiting firearms.
- Training is required, like the Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety program, firearms safety or training course, or through military, law enforcement or security employment training.
- There is a 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.