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  1. #1
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    Hello!

    I'm an 18 year old citizen of WI living on campus at Carthage College in Kenosha, my permanent address being in Janesville (where I live in the summer and on other breaks). I am quite comfortable around guns and so have been reading around about my rights to carry in WI, and have frequently found myself on this forum; so decided to register and voice my support, (with what little value it holds) and see if I could get some questions answered about Open Carry, WI handgun laws, and handguns in general.

    My first hurdle is to actually buy and get acquainted with a handgun, and while I have seen it said that I can own a handgun (and Open Carry) at the age of 18, I have also read that I cannot purchase the gun or bullets until I am 21. I'm guessing this means the gun would have to be purchased by someone such as my father and gifted to me?
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    I'm throwing in an edit here to keep some things clear. What I stated above about gifting was a question and does not indicate any intent to do so. Any hypothetical purchases I speak of below would either be through private transactions or a strong Christmas gift suggestion to my parents.
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    The next question is on what you all might suggest as a "starter" handgun, and what for the future might be a good Open Carry(or rather self-defense) gun? I am in college so extra spending money is a little tight, but was thinking that if I donated plasma and saved the money from a small job on campus I would be able to afford something to familiarize myself to handguns for about $600 within a few months, and then if I get a summer job be able to buy something a little better for Open Carry around this time next year. My gun experiences come mostly from hunting and target practice, and I have used mostly shotguns, and having only fired handguns a couple times, I do not have very much experience with them.(Doing a lot of reading about them, but nothing beats hand on experience)

    The gun I was looking at buying (drooling over really) is the Ruger MK III Hunter. I was thinking as a .22 with low kick, and being fairly cheap, it would be a good handgun to practice with. Also as a gun that shoots .22LR it has the added appeal that I might not have as much trouble buying the ammo even though I am under the age of 21, as I have bought this ammo for a rifle before. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on this plan, or maybe a better gun to suggest?

    As for a handgun for Open Carry / self-defense use, I have not really done much research on that, and was really just a bit curious if there were any guns that seemed to be the most reliable for Open Carry/ self-defense. I would not need to purchase this gun for some time, but it would be nice to start getting an idea of what to look for.( I’ve seen the name 1911 thrown around quite a bit)

    This next question I would say is a bit odd. Living on campus I doubt I would be able to keep a handgun in my room even cased, while at the same time I wouldn't want it two hours+ away at my permanent address that I rarely visit. Does anyone know where I would be able to legally store a gun if I bought one? I was thinking something like an indoor shooting range might have gun lockers they would rent out, or might hold guns for a fee, but could not find anything like that online. I would like to know if any service like this exists before I seek it further.

    Anyways, I’ll try and cut this fairly short. If any of the above is not appropriate to ask on this forum, please tell me, and of course I know I should never take any legal advice as fact and that I should always fully investigate it personally first.

    A little bit about me and my beliefs.
    I grew up in Beloit, and though I am sure it is not the worst town in the world, crime was (and probably still is) fairly common. I remember having our car window shot out when I was eight or so, and being at my Grandmothers house as she had a heart-attack because of the stress caused by a gang-related shooting outside of her home, to name a couple situations. Though I was young at the time, I get emotional when I recount these experiences and others, where though I and my family were not in immediate risk, we could have been at any second. (One or more of the men involved in the fight/shooting fled through my Grandmother’s yard.) My interest in open carry is its value as a crime deterrent and if an emergency arises possibly self-defense. I also recognize the special risk to us in Wisconsin as we are have one of our fundamental rights violated by what basically comes down to as public ignorance and broken laws. Thank you for your time and any responses. Hoping I can learn more about defending my rights as a Wisconsin and an American citizen by participating here.

    - Aaron B.C.

    P.S. To leave on a slightly comic note, while writing this post I have just heard that a student across the hall from me is facing possible punishment for being caught with a foam dart gun.(The bright orange/blue kind) He was caught while taking it out of the package with his door wide open. I don’t know why but after writing this it made me break out laughing. This also reassures me that they would probably not take too kindly to me having a real gun even in a case on campus.

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Yes, you would need a parent or legal guardian purchase the firearm for you. While I love my Ruger MkIII, I would almost suggest getting a 9mm. They are easy to shoot and ammo isn't terribly expensive.

    As for your college, check what their rules say regarding firearms.

    Fletcher Arms has lockers for rent.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Welcome to the board Aaron!

    I would also suggest at least a 9mm for self defense, but your plan to learn to shoot with a .22 is a good one. In the long run you would be best off purchasing .22 and using the extra money for some lessons so you are practicing good techniques.

    There is a pretty good guy who gives lessons at Shooters Sports Center on the north side of Racine, which isn't too long of a drive for you.

    You are going to get a lot of suggestions for what type of firearm to buy, it really comes down to what feels good to in your hands, and how you shoot them. With enough practice you can shoot any firearm well. That being said, there aren't going to be too many people who would tell you not to purchase a Ruger .22. My suggestion would be to not try and buy some top of the line .22, especially considering you are planning to move up guns in the near future.

    As far as a defense pistol under $600, you have will have plenty of good options for that price. I'm partial to Glocks, if you are on a budget I would suggest purchasing a used one, I have bought several Glocks (new and used) and you really aren't going to be able to tell the difference. Used Glocks can be had in the $400 range, but maybe a Glock isn't for you. A place like Shooters has guns that you can rent as long as you buy their ammo, so you can try out several handguns to see what you like.



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    $600 is about the limit of what I can expect to save up in the next few months for something to start with.(The MKIII maybe) If I decide to further pursue a gun for OC/SD I would probably have a bit more to spend for that. Anyways, gotta start saving my cash first, which has to balance with paying student loans interest and saving for summer trips.(trips for college that is.) Already living off ramen and vitamins, just gotta be smart with my cash.
    After thinking about it, I believe I would prefer a .22 over a 9mm simply because the ammo would be at least 10x cheaper.(from what I am seeing) Also, I'd only be 19 by the time I need to purchase the ammo for this gun, and while I know I would never be sold the 9mm ammo, I've had about 50% success buying .22 on my own from wallyworld. Have been told a couple times no because it could possibly be used in a handgun, but a fair amount seemed ignorant to that.

  5. #5
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    AaronBC wrote:
    Also, I'd only be 19 by the time I need to purchase the ammo for this gun, and while I know I would never be sold the 9mm ammo, I've had about 50% success buying .22 on my own from wallyworld. Have been told a couple times no because it could possibly be used in a handgun, but a fair amount seemed ignorant to that.
    Hummm.... how would you be expected to buy ammo if you owned a 9mm long gun?

    Don't they understand that there are long guns chambered for pretty much any pistol caliber ammo? (And a few pistols that fire "rifle" ammo?)
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    The 21 age restriction on ammunition should only be for CENTERFIRE pistol ammunition. You should have no problem buying .22LR as they are rimfire rounds. I would find a different store if your current one gives you grief about that.

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    Regular Member Yooper's Avatar
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    If you like Rugers, you can get Ruger P series for under $400 new. Some places are stringent about the age restrictions on ammo. Wal-Mart comes to mind. Other places don't question. If you want to see some funny faces at wal-mart, when they ask "Is it for a rifle or handgun?".....tell them "both"

    The 21 restriction is for buying a new gun from a Federal Dealer. You can buy a used handgun from a private party at 18. Also, you could have a gun gifted to you.

    Technically, you'd have either recieve it free from that person (parent, grandparent etc), or they would have to actually buy it, and then you buy it from them. It's illegal for them to buy it for you (use your money to purchase it).
    Rand Paul 2016

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    Campaign Veteran logan's Avatar
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    Yooper wrote:
    Some places are stringent about the age restrictions on ammo. Wal-Mart comes to mind. Other places don't question. If you want to see some funny faces at wal-mart, when they ask "Is it for a rifle or handgun?".....tell them "both"
    Better yet, buy the gun. Then open carry it into a store to buy it and see if they question you lol.
    Logan - Laugh lots, Love Often, and Defend the Irreplaceable
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    If someone gifts you a gun, it has to be a gift. You can't give them the money for it, or it would be a "straw purchase" and could get everyone in trouble. So it would have to be a real gift.

    I don't know about any gun transfer or ammo transfer laws that would apply, as I'm not as familiar with Wisconsin laws as I am with Illinois. In Illinois it was no problem for my parents to gift me a gun when I was 18 with ammo as well.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    AaronBC wrote:
    I'm an 18 year old citizen of WI .......

    My first hurdle is to actually buy and get acquainted with a handgun, and while I have seen it said that I can own a handgun (and Open Carry) at the age of 18, I have also read that I cannot purchase the gun or bullets until I am 21. I'm guessing this means the gun would have to be purchased by someone such as my father and gifted to me?
    You can legally purchase a handgun from anyone who is a resident of WI but is not transferring it as a FFL. There is no handgun registration in WI, so it is nobody's business (including a cop who stops you on the street if you are open carrying) where you got your handgun once you take posession. As an 18 year old, you can legally own and carry one. You can find handguns by word of mouth, on internet message boards such as AR15.com, in the paper, on gunbroker,at a gun show being sold by private parties, etc. You can also find ammo being sold by private parties. You should have no problems getting a handgun legally without having to go through a FFL.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info! I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes out for good private deals.

    Are there any major anti-gun organizations specific to WI I should know about? Always good to "know thine enemy" so they say.

  12. #12
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    AaronBC wrote:
    Thanks for the info! I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes out for good private deals.

    Are there any major anti-gun organizations specific to WI I should know about? Always good to "know thine enemy" so they say.
    The one with the biggest mouth and little to back up what they say is: WAVE

    http://www.waveedfund.org/

    Always guaranteed to be spouting nonsense on the news, legislative hearings, etc.
    A. Gold

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    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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