Transporting your Gun to and From the Range, Legally

Congratulations! You’ve bought a gun, and now it’s time to practice with it! So how do you transport it from your home to the range, safely and without breaking any laws? 

If you have your Wisconsin Concealed Carry (CCW) license, you can bring your carry gun to a Wisconsin gun range on your person in a holster or other concealed carry conveyance. However, if you’re bringing additional guns to the range that are not carried on your person, you’ll need to transport those additional firearms encased. If you don’t have a Wisconsin CCW license, you’ll need to bring all guns to the range encased in a firearms case.

In Wisconsin, encased is defined as “in a case that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed.” Wisconsin law also requires that firearms transported in a vehicle are transported unloaded, in a case, and out of reach. In this instance, “out of reach” means that the gun is in the trunk or rear of the vehicle, and NOT in your glove box or center console. 

When selecting a case for your gun, select one that both protects your gun from scratches or damage, and fits you and your lifestyle. You’ve made a significant investment in your gun, and it makes sense to protect that investment. If you’ll be taking your gun to the range in the case, select a case that provides good protection and is easy to transport. 

If you occasionally need to leave your handgun secured in your vehicle, choose a hardened steel case that is both lockable and can be secured to the seat post in your vehicle. Always stow the case under the seat, out of sight.  

When selecting a case for a long gun, measure the gun to verify that it will fit in the case. Keep in mind that you’ll need enough space in your vehicle to transport the long gun in the case. If you have a smaller vehicle, you might select a smaller, more compact case.

While your ammunition does not need to be transported in a case, keeping it organized in a suitable container saves time on the range. At home, it’s a good idea to store ammunition in a container such as a recycled military ammo box or a container specifically designed for ammunition storage. Keeping your ammunition dry and properly stored improves performance and prolongs the life of the ammunition.

Since you’ll need eye and ear protection, targets, ammunition, and other supplies at the range, a sturdy and functional range bag is also a good investment. Keep your bag packed and ready to head out to the range when you are! 

Reference: Wis. Statute 167.31 “Safe use and transportation of firearms and bows.”

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