For this reason, it is important to check your local state laws before going out crossbow shopping! Yes, a bow is not considered a firearm in the state of Wisconsin. Indeed in terms of firearms, felons want to be very careful of being around others who are using them. Felons buying deer hunting licenses even though they can’t own guns New Richmond News ^ | 10-31-07 Posted on 10/31/2007 4:47:59 PM PDT by SJackson. Crossbows are illegal in the State of Wisconsin, with an exception for handicapped people. However, the regulations are not so simple. Lansing ought to fix that. Like anyone else, felons have hobbies and sometimes those hobbies involve weapons. That’s why we  covered going to shooting ranges and regular bows previously but wanted to also explore crossbows. However, since crossbows don't fall under the firearm umbrella, they are federally legal for felons to possess after leaving prison. If you are a convicted felon in that situation, ask your friend to maintain positive control over their own weapon, and you’ll maintain control of your crossbow if that’s what you’re using. It is a vital concern, because obviously anyone with felony conviction loses, by default, some (but not all) of their constitutional rights. When you go to buy a gun a 48-hour hold will be placed on your purchase so a background check can be completed. a bow that utilizes a system of levers with cables and pulleys to bend the bow’s limbs before shooting its arrows Crossbow hunting regulations can get very complex. So we know that most states don’t allow felons to possess firearms, but under federal law, crossbows aren’t labelled as firearms. Read the rules, dot every “i” and cross every “t” and when in doubt, ask a qualified attorney or your parole officer for help! The actual number is probably a lot higher. Answer: Under Wisconsin law, an individual with a felony conviction is prohibited from possessing a firearm. KRS 527.040 only restricts convicted felons from possession of a firearm. It is a felony offense for a convicted felon to possess a firearm under Wisconsin state laws. Getting back to firearm ownership, that really the main issue to be wary of for felons, because often times if a crossbow is around, other weapons might be, too. Question: Can a person with a felony conviction hunt deer with a crossbow? You can own a crossbow. Yes, we know generally what a firearm is, and of course we know that, due to federal law (the 1968 Gun Control Act, to be specific), convicted felons can’t own or sell firearms unless they’ve applied to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to have that right restored (which is only possible “if it does not deem the applicant dangerous to public safety” and “restoration is not contrary to the public interest.” … RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS: A convicted felon is forever prohibited from carrying a firearm. And if you’ve ever seen one, you know it obviously has the ability to kill a man easily, just like a handgun. A cross bow is not considered a "fire arm" which is prohibited to own or possess by a felon. If a felon is able to obtain a hunting license in whatever state they reside in, then there should be no issue using a crossbow for that hunting, so long as permits and proper tags are acquired and, of course, the hunting season in open. Thus, a convicted felon may hunt with a crossbow without violating federal law. Technically, muzzleloaders are widely thought to be antique firearms. You can pick it up and use it and therefore you have “constructive possession” of that rifle…which could land you in legal hot water. The laws state that since a crossbow is not considered to be a firearm, it is legal for a felon to own one. This has been supported by a number of states. However, if a felon is still on probation or parole, the terms will prohibit the felon from owning or possessing any weapons. Good news for felons who like to go hunting! Now, I live in WI and our DNR sucks...bad. For example, federal law does not consider a crossbow to be a firearm. You may not be free to go to your local gun store and buy a rifle, but if you want to hunt with a bow, and as long as you are able to obtain the proper seasonal hunting tags … Constructive possession is essentially anytime a person is able to take control of a nearby firearm, for example if you are with friends out in the field one Sunday morning and one of them leaves a rifle unattended near you while they stroll off to the truck for a beverage…you thus have ready access to that weapon in that timeframe. But there’s no gas or explosion involved. : The case of Gerlat v.Christianson, 108 N.W.2d 194 (1961) says that an air gun is a firearm under WI law. Possessing an Antique Firearm. That’s the question this article aims to address! Unless a person’s hunting privileges have been revoked, an individual with a felony conviction may purchase a permit for the archery season and/or gun deer season and use a crossbow. Laws vary among states and the federal government as to the restriction and restoration of rights for convicted felons.Also note that, in Idaho, one does need a bowhunter certification to hunt in an archery only hunt.This past legislative season, the rules defining a firearm restriction were indeed changed. So someone convicted of a felony offense against a person can get a license. Wis. Stat. It’s quiet in the woods. If your state does allow ownership of a crossbow, your main concern is ensuring you have a proper seasonal license to hunt with a bow or crossbow. Okay, now we’re ready for the big question…. I own a couple black powder rifles. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Whether that has been an effective strategy in their efforts to reduce crime is very debatable… Some states ban crossbow hunting regardless of a person’s criminal background, such as Oregon. The term “constructive possession” is applicable in such circumstances. In fact maybe their crime also involved weapons, but that’s another story… But felons are people, too, and they often enjoy playing or hunting with dangerous toys! Answer: Under Wisconsin law, an individual with a felony conviction is prohibited from possessing a firearm. The last thing a felon wants is a quick ticket back to jail, and owning a weapon you aren’t legally allowed to own is a surefire way to get into trouble. Spending time hunting with friends can be fun, but if you don’t have a right to bear arms due to a prior felony conviction, then you want to exercise caution so that it does not appear as if you are using any firearms yourself. It has a trigger and fires a projectile. More short hunting answers: It can be confusing, so check whether or not a crossbow ownership is legally allowed first. So … since crossbows use stored potential energy to propel an arrow rather than the action of an ‘explosive’ (or rapidly burning propellant), they are not prohibited to felons under federal law. The reason I mention this again is because, as stated, if a crossbow is present, other hunting weapons such as rifles could be. Maybe nobody is around, maybe it doesn’t seem like any big deal. Basically, the answer is that a felon can purchase and own a crossbow. Here you go! § 940.24 both defined "weapon" as a firearm, air gun, knife, or bow and arrow, as defined in Wis. Stat. The felon in possession of a weapon charge means that anyone convicted of a felony cannot own or possess a switch-blade, a butterfly knife, a clubbing instrument, a Taser or a stun gun. Send questions by email to or postal mail to 515 Grand Ave., Wausau, WI 54403. In general, a felon can only apply to have their firearm ownership rights restored after waiting for eight years from the time of their sentence completion. That’s right, the use of a bow, compound bow, or crossbow by a felon is not a federal crime and they are not restricted from owning or using them for hunting. 2. For our purposes, the above definition is enough for now…. The muzzle loader only season is a great time to be in the woods in Wisconsin. A convicted felon … Crossbow OK for felon, but Supreme Court to rule on rest of arsenal Michael Doyle - McClatchy Washington Bureau February 19, 2015 05:41 PM © Copyright 2015 - 2019 Help For Felons | All Rights Reserved. Wisconsin; Wyoming . First let’s consider one big issue…is a crossbow a firearm? hope it helps. In the state hunting manual it says that a felon may still hunt with an air rifle, bow or crossbow (65+ years old or disabled). They do not belong in the class of banned firearms. A person with a felony conviction is legally able to purchase a hunting license in the State of Wisconsin even though they cannot hunt with a gun, nor tag a deer, bear or other game that has been killed with a gun. Don’t put yourself at risk! § 941.20 and Wis. Stat. Not all states allow felons to possess crossbows, such as New York, which doesn’t allow felons to own weapons period. Felons can't own fire arms but since a bow is not considered as a fire ARM the can hunt with a bow or crossbow and possess a license as well. I know for a fact that you CAN use a crossbow in wisconsin as a felon as long as you are a) Legally Disabled to the point that you cannot pull back a bow, with a doctors approval ofcourse, or b) over the age of 65. Re: Can a Felon purchase a hunting license in TX? A firearm is “designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas.” But this generic definition excludes most pneumatic guns, spring guns, paintball guns or B-B guns, most USCG or ICC safety signal guns, and most antique weapons…and the intent of this article is not to give an encyclopedic breakdown of what’s a firearm and what is not. A traditional bow or crossbow is not considered a firearm … The information provided on this website (Help For Felons) does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. I don't know how ohio works, but thats wisconsin. (Note that Wisconsin law extends to “other weapons”). But we still have state law to consider. Recommended: Can a Felon own a Crossbow? The felon maybe able to get their right restored, but in general it is not. A former US border patrol officer was charged with possession of an illegal substance and served a six-month prison sentence. Can a felon own a crossbow? Lt. Ben Graham is the administrative lieutenant with the Wausau Police Department. Firearms can be purchased from federal firearm dealers. In other words, at a minimum you’ll have to wait eight years…and even then your application may not be approved. At the time of his arrest, authorities removed several weapons from the officer including a crossbow. So yes, a felon can own a bow in most circumstances, because a bow isn’t considered a firearm. To this end, this question will form the basis of this article as we will try to help felons understand to what extent does the law allow them to own as well use a crossbow. You can inquire through your local jurisdiction’s police department or even with a qualified attorney. However, some states, such as New York, prohibit convicted felons from possessing and using crossbows, so it is illegal for a felon to hunt with a crossbow in those jurisdictions. But is it worth gambling another prison sentence over? This communication does not create an attorney/client relationship. Once free, Henderson attempted to retrieve possession of his various weapons and handguns. However, the ban on felons ownership of regular firearms also extends to possession of associated ammunitions. And one of these lost constitutional rights is, as mentioned, the right to bear firearms for a certain period of time. On the other hand, Texas has certain restrictions in certain counties, so you not only have to know the state law but also the local county laws. If the felony conviction is a wobbler felony (a felony that could have been charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, see list of wobbler felonies), or it is a qualifying conviction under Prop 64, then we can file a motion with the court to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor. If the background check clears, and the buyer is … It is even dangerous for felons to be at a shooting range! But just remember, if you are a felon in possession of a crossbow, and your state specifically prohibits you from owning that such weapons, then you will not be able to claim “ignorance of the law” if you are caught. I bought a new one last year and harvested a nice doe with it. Denied, he took his case all the way to the US Supreme Court.The law 18 U.S.C. Due to the strict laws on felons and firearm ownership, one might assume that a convicted felon would also be prohibited from owning a crossbow. A traditional bow or crossbow is not considered a firearm and may be possessed by a person with a felony conviction. A bill to greatly expand crossbow use by deer hunters in Wisconsin was approved Thursday by a 95-0 vote in the Assembly. Of course, felons can still own a bow and go hunting, but that’s another story entirely…. § 941.29(1)(a)-(b), (2). Meanwhile, Washington State actually holds “lotteries” for hunting privileges for felons. Because you can see that while crossbow ownership by felons is allowed, more or less, in the United States, every state has its own laws. After completing probation or parole one can possess a cross bow. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Yes, we know generally what a firearm is, and of course we know that, due to federal law (the 1968 Gun Control Act, to be specific), convicted felons can’t own or sell firearms unless they’ve applied to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to have that right restored (which is only possible “if it does not deem the applicant dangerous to public safety” and “restoration is not contrary to the public interest.” So a felon might have other rights restored, but they must specifically seek firearm ownership restoration rights, and it usually takes a waiting period of eight years from their sentence completion date. A list of locations in your area can be found online. However, just because it is not a firearm and a felon will not be convicted for breaking the 1968 Gun Control Act, it is important for those considering this to check state laws and regulations before … As always, our standard disclaimer–we are not here to offer legal advice, so when in doubt, felons and other hunters who might be on probation should call up their probation officer before going out on a hunting trip. There are always exceptions to every rule. And we know that felons are banned from owning firearms! No, probably not. Right after incarceration, many felons desire to return to doing what once made them happy, but this raises a very controversial question; can a felon own a crossbow? A crossbow does not fall under Kentucky's definition of a firearm. Wis. Stat. At least 77 felons bought Wisconsin deer hunting licenses last year even though it’s illegal for them to ever have guns. Yes, a bow is not considered a firearm in the state of Wisconsin. Maybe it’s swords, perhaps it’s shooting rifles at the range, or it could even be going out into the woods for a hunting trip with a bow or crossbow. Thus we need to know how a crossbow is classified–firearm or not? In the state hunting manual it says that a felon may still hunt with an air rifle, bow or crossbow (65+ years old or disabled).