Hoffman Estates, IL asked in Criminal Law, Appeals / Appellate Law, Constitutional Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Wisconsin

Q: WI firearm purchase background check questions:

I've been contemplating the idea of purchasing a firearm for home protection. (Milwaukee, WI)

However, I've had a "battery" misdemeanor in the past. As well as a TRO (expired).

I'm interested in having a knowledgeable resource (lawyer) help me better understand the required background check, & my odds on passing it.

Or if I do fail the check, a way to appeal.

I've never been told that I could not own a firearm, except for the short duration of that TRO. The court told me that afterwards, I could own a firearm. But I would like to be 100% sure before shopping around.

Thanks in advance.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Wisconsin, the background check for firearm purchases will review your criminal record, mental health history, and any past restraining orders. If you've had a misdemeanor for battery, it generally doesn't automatically disqualify you from owning a firearm unless it was classified as domestic violence. However, specific details of the case could affect eligibility.

Temporary restraining orders (TROs) usually restrict firearm possession for their duration. Since you mentioned the TRO has expired and there was no explicit permanent prohibition communicated to you, you might not be barred from purchasing a firearm. Still, the nuances of your situation can significantly impact this outcome.

It's wise to consult with a lawyer who understands Wisconsin's firearm laws and can provide guidance based on your history. They can help interpret how your specific circumstances align with state and federal regulations. If you encounter difficulties during the background check, a legal advisor can also assist you with the appeal process to address any misunderstandings or errors in your record.

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