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HomeBreaking NewsWhat is the Law Regarding Self Defense in Wisconsin?

What is the Law Regarding Self Defense in Wisconsin?

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In the United States, the common law principle known as the “castle doctrine” allows individuals to use deadly force, if reasonable, to protect themselves from home intruders. Variations of the castle doctrine are the law of the land in all but a handful of states. But in recent years, a number of states have expanded on the principle, allowing individuals to use deadly force in public spaces under certain circumstances, even if they have the option to safely retreat. These statutes are commonly known as “stand your ground” or “shoot first” laws.

Unlike the castle doctrine, which is deeply rooted in historical precedent, stand your ground laws represent a meaningful departure from American legal tradition. According to gun control advocacy group Giffords Law Center, stand your ground laws increase the likelihood of avoidable violence and death — especially if firearms are involved, which, in states with these laws and weak gun control regulations, they often are.

Wisconsin is a state that does not have stand your ground laws on the books and where citizens have a legal duty to retreat from potentially dangerous public confrontations if doing so safely is possible. State residents are also required to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 793 firearm-related fatalities in Wisconsin in 2021, or 13.5 for every 100,000 people, the 15th lowest gun death rate among the 50 states.

All data in this story on stand your ground laws and concealed carry regulations is from Gifford’s Law Center, a gun control advocacy group. It is important to note that policy details can vary by jurisdiction.

StateStand your ground laws?Permitless concealed carry of a firearmFirearm deaths per 100,000 people, 2021Total firearm deaths, 2021
AlabamaYesLegal26.41,315
AlaskaYesLegal25.2182
ArizonaYesLegal18.31,365
ArkansasYesLegal23.3698
CaliforniaNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal9.03,576
ColoradoNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal17.81,064
ConnecticutNoIllegal6.7248
DelawareNoIllegal16.6158
FloridaYesLegal14.13,142
GeorgiaYesLegal20.32,200
HawaiiNoIllegal4.871
IdahoYesLegal16.3309
IllinoisNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal16.11,995
IndianaYesLegal18.41,251
IowaYesLegal11.2364
KansasYesLegal17.3503
KentuckyYesLegal21.1947
LouisianaYesIllegal (with exceptions)29.11,314
MaineNoLegal12.6178
MarylandNoIllegal15.2915
MassachusettsNoIllegal3.4247
MichiganYesIllegal15.41,544
MinnesotaNoIllegal10.0573
MississippiYesLegal33.9962
MissouriYesLegal23.21,414
MontanaYesLegal25.1280
NebraskaNoLegal (effective Sept. 2023)10.3200
NevadaYesIllegal19.8633
New HampshireYesLegal8.3123
New JerseyNoIllegal5.2475
New MexicoNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal27.8578
New YorkNoIllegal5.41,078
North CarolinaYesIllegal17.31,839
North DakotaYesLegal16.8128
OhioYesLegal16.51,911
OklahomaYesLegal21.2836
OregonNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal14.9670
PennsylvaniaYesIllegal14.81,905
Rhode IslandNoIllegal5.664
South CarolinaYesIllegal22.41,136
South DakotaYesLegal14.3128
TennesseeYesLegal22.81,569
TexasYesLegal15.64,613
UtahYesLegal13.9450
VermontNo (some protections from legal precedent)Legal11.983
VirginiaNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal14.31,248
WashingtonNo (some protections from legal precedent)Illegal11.2896
West VirginiaYesLegal17.3319
WisconsinNoIllegal13.5793
WyomingYesLegal26.1155
Jim Piwowarczykhttps://foxvalley.wisconsinrightnow.com/
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now. Married with 3 kids, a chocolate lab, and a german shepherd. Jim served as a police officer in Wisconsin for more than 20 years. His career started as a police officer in Milwaukee County in 1994 as a patrol officer, until he was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2003 where he worked until he left in 2009 to pursue business aspirations. Jim Piwowarczyk was a field training officer, evidence technician & hostage negotiator and conducted many drug investigations. Jim continued to work part-time for an area police department. Jim is avid real estate investor, and small business owner & developer. Jim has coached youth football and basketball. Jim is also an avid fisherman and hunter.
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