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Roger, Attorney
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can a felon own and hunt with a big bore air gun in wiscon

Customer Question

can a felon own and hunt with a big bore air gun in wisconsin?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

Felons in Wisconsin are not allowed to own or use a firearm of any kind without a pardon from the governor.


In Wisconsin, a firearm is any device that is capable of discharging a bullet. Under Wisconsin laws, firearms include a pellet gun or an air gun.



Thus, a felon would not be legally allowed to own an air gun in Wisconsin.

Edited by Adam Kirk on 1/15/2010 at 5:20 AM EST
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

You are wrong. In Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations Booklet, on page 15 it states. Unless otherwise prohibited a felon CAN generally hunt legally with an air rifle for small game mammals.

If this is right then you owe me some money for giving out the wrong legal advise.

Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

The information I gave is correct. What you posted says "Unless otherwise prohibited...". The law I gave you prohibits this, which is why this caveat is in the regulations booklet.


The use of an air gun is "otherwise prohibited" by state law. Thus, my information is correct.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So what is the "otherwise prohibited" that is stopping me. A firearm is defined as a devise ignited by an explosive propellant. And air rifle uses aif and can not be considered a firearm.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

That's not the legal definition of a firearm in Wisconsin.


The following link for a Madison, WI law firm gives the legal definition of a firearm in WI and clearly states that an air gun is considered a firearm in your state:


Because the law says an air gun is a firearm, it is "otherwise provided" in the law that a felon cannot own or carry this.

Edited by Adam Kirk on 1/15/2010 at 4:28 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So what is the state statute on this. I dont care to look at your law firms personal web-site. I noticed you havent put a Wis. state statute in the crap posted on that web site. So im guessing you can't fight what is written in the Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations booklet. I have looked on other Wisconsin laws and regulations websites and none say different.

Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

Here you go!:


The case of Gerlat v. Christianson, 108 N.W.2d 194 (1961) says that an air gun is a firearm under WI law.


Wis. Stat. § 941.20 and Wis. Stat. § 940.24 both defined "weapon" as a firearm, air gun, knife, or bow and arrow, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 939.22(10): (10) "Dangerous weapon" means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any ligature or other instrumentality used on the throat, neck, nose, or mouth of another person to impede, partially or completely, breathing or circulation of blood; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295 (4); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.


Wis. Stat. § 939.22(2) (2009) says: "Airgun" means a weapon which expels a missile by the expansion of compressed air or other gas.



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