Guardian Ad Litems are appointed by courts in custody and placement disputes to help educate the court on what placement and custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child or children. When determining if an arrangement is in the best interests, the Guardian Ad Litem will look at 16 factors. Those factors are enumerated in Wis. Stat. Sect. 767.41(5). None of the factors discuss firearms.

In the absence of any direction on how to handle firearms, firearm storage, and firearm possession, implicit biases may creep into a Guardian Ad Litem’s best interest recommendation.

 Perhaps your Guardian Ad Litem does not hunt, does not shoot recreationally, or holds a certain negative opinion on firearm possession. In those cases, Guardian Ad Litems may consciously or sub-consciously require oppressive and strict conditions on your firearm usage and possession. Restrictions that have been imposed in the past include the requirement to store firearms in certain areas of the home, requiring a party to lock up ammunition in an area of the home to be determined by the Guardian Ad Litem, prohibiting a party from cleaning a firearm in the presence of a child. In extreme cases, Guardian Ad Litems may recommend a complete prohibition on firearm possession.

Regardless of the recommendation made, legal representation can help to advise parties of their rights and minimize or even eliminate restrictions on a parties ability to possess firearms during their periods of placement.