(Not a legal gun case, unless guns are first placed in gun sleeves)
We received the following e-mail on June 15, 2006 from a Conservation Warden & Natural Resources Policy Officer at the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
"In Wisconsin, it is illegal to place a firearm into a vehicle before it is completely cased and unloaded, and it is also illegal to remove a firearm from its case while the firearm/case is still inside of or on the vehicle.
In Wisconsin, there are several issues that must be considered regarding the use of a built in storage box to carry or transport firearms. The most serious potential penalty could be that of "Carrying a concealed weapon". Generally, if a firearm is legally unloaded and cased in a recognizable gun case, it would not be considered concealed. It is however illegal to place any firearm inside of or on a vehicle before it is first unloaded and completely enclosed within a case expressly made for the purpose of containing a firearm and that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed. If a firearm is to be placed into a built in case or storage area located inside or on a vehicle, the firearm would first need to be unloaded and placed into a firearm case outside the vehicle, before it is placed into a special storage area inside of or on the vehicle.
Firearms placed in the storage units pictured on your web site would be in violation of Wisconsin law unless they were first unloaded and placed inside of a separate firearm case outside the vehicle and then the cased firearm placed into these types of storage units.
Section 941.23, Wis. Stats. Carrying concealed weapon.
Any person except a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
To "go armed" does not require going anywhere. The elements for a violation of s. 941.23 are: 1) a dangerous weapon is on the defendant's person or within reach; 2) the defendant is aware of the weapon's presence; and 3) the weapon is hidden. State v. Keith, 175 Wis. 2d 75, 498 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1993). A defendant was properly convicted under this section for driving a vehicle with a gun locked in a glove compartment. State v. Fry, 131 Wis. 2d 153, 388 N.W.2d 565 (1986).
Section 167.31, Wis. Stats. Safe use and transportation of firearms and bows.
No person may place, possess or transport a firearm, bow or crossbow in or on a vehicle, unless the firearm is unloaded and encased or unless the bow or crossbow is unstrung or is enclosed in a carrying case.
"Encased" means enclosed in a case that is expressly made for the purpose of containing a firearm and that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed.
"Unloaded" means any of the following:
1. Having no shell or cartridge in the chamber of a firearm or in the magazine attached to a firearm.
2. In the case of a cap lock muzzle-loading firearm, having the cap removed.
3. In the case of a flint lock muzzle-loading firearm, having the flashpan cleaned of powder."
The following description was found online...
Transporting Firearms in Motor Vehicles, Boats, or Aircraft.
In general, no one may place, possess, or transport a firearm in a motor vehicle, motorboat, or aircraft unless the firearm is unloaded and in a carrying case. Loading or discharging a firearm in or from a vehicle is also prohibited [ss. 167.31 (2) (a) and (b), and (3) (a)].