Wisconsin's Concealed Carry Law as it may Affect Churches

By Stephen L. Knowles

September 2011 Updated December 2019

On November 1, 2011, when the “concealed carry” provisions of 2011 Wisconsin Act 35 took effect, Wisconsin became the 49th state to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. This memorandum reviews Act 35’s principal requirements insofar as they may affect churches—typically congregations—and other religious organizations. As explained below, Act 35 expanded the circumstances under which individuals may carry concealed weapons. The Act also allows property owners and employers to prohibit firearms on their premises (but not their parking facilities) and specifies the signage required to implement the prohibition. Property owners and employers deciding not to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons will be immune from any liability resulting from the decision.