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AG Schimel celebrates five years of CCW Program success, announces new online application and renewal process

MADISON, WI – It’s been nearly five years since the first Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) license was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) on November 1, 2011. Attorney General Brad Schimel is announcing improvements and a streamlined process for citizens to apply for and renew licenses on DOJ’s newly launched CCW website.

“Wisconsin has a proud sporting heritage and rich tradition of firearms ownership, and I am proud to lead the agency committed to ensuring law abiding citizens can exercise their Second Amendment Rights by carrying concealed,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites hold a concealed carry license, making our state a safer place to live, work, and raise a family. The dedicated professionals at the Department of Justice have provided a safe, secure, and efficient process for the issuance of concealed carry licenses since 2011 Act 35 went into effect on November 1, 2011. I am pleased we can now offer the ability to apply for or renew concealed carry licenses through use of DOJ’s new, convenient website.”

In addition to allowing eligible Wisconsinites the ability to renew or apply for a license, the CCW website will allow users to update their address or name, request a replacement license, and/or check the status of an application.

CCW licenses must be renewed every five years and the Wisconsin DOJ issues renewal notices 120 days in advance of the license’s expiration date. The first CCW licenses in Wisconsin were issued on November 1, 2011, meaning those license holders will receive renewal notices the first week of July 2016. Approximately 160,000 renewal notices will be sent over the next year. Current CCW license holders should not apply for a renewal until they receive their renewal notice by mail. Notifications contain a Unique Identification Number and instructions for each license holder.

CCW license renewals cost $22, do not require new or additional training, and will expire five years from the date the new license is issued. New CCW licenses require an approved training and $40 fee. License renewals and new applications will be processed within 21 days, per Wisconsin State Statute.

Handgun Hotline checks and CCW applications have been at record high levels in recent months and interest in firearm ownership shows no signs of subsiding. In the first six months of 2016, the Wisconsin DOJ Criminal Information Bureau (CIB) processed 31,842 CCW applications and 82,233 background checks for handgun transfers by a Wisconsin firearms dealer. By comparison, during the first six months of 2015 the Firearms Unit processed 22,787 CCW applications and handled 59,465 requests for Handgun Hotline background checks.  From 2001-2005, the Handgun Hotline had 162,208 checks, while in that same length of time form 2011-2015 the total number background checks increased to 599,141 – a 369% increase over the ten-year period. Despite increased volume of CCW applications, the Wisconsin DOJ has maintained an average turnaround of six days for new CCW license applications.

Please visit the Wisconsin DOJ website for a list of frequently asked questions about the CCW license.