Private gun sales avoid detection in Wisconsin

Only federally licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct background checks on gun buyers in state

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Background checks are not required in Wisconsin if a gun sale is done privately, without the involvement of a federally licensed firearm dealer.

This means that many guns can go undetected statewide because they’re sold from neighbor to neighbor or in other ways.

“If it’s a private person, for example one neighbor selling a gun to another neighbor, there is no regulation on that,” said La Crosse County Sheriff Patrol Capt. Marte Peterson.

Guns often are stolen during smash-and-grab robberies and then sold for money that is used to buy drugs, Peterson said.

“They’re selling them for a quick dollar for drug use or whatever,” he said.

Roger Wendling, who owns Monsoor’s Sport Shop in La Crosse and is a federally licensed firearms dealer, said private firearms sales require private sellers to be held liable for any issues.

“People that sell the guns though have to realize that they’re responsible for that,” he said.

Every weapon at Wendling’s shop requires a background check to buy, and he said the government checks out “certain things on everybody.”

Still, people who selling a firearm to a neighbor or an acquaintance have the option of going to a federally licensed dealer and allowing that person to initiate a background check.

“There is a cost involved in that, but it’s a safety factor that you should put up with,” Wendling said.

Recent News Headlines from News 8 Now 

17-year-old wounded in La Crosse shooting faces intentional homicide charges

La Crosse Common Council narrowly approves ban of conversion therapy to minors

Private gun sales avoid detection in Wisconsin

Big trips to a small town: La Crosse County tourism increases

Dog from Monroe Co. heading to New York for Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show