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Knife Possession Bill Gets Assembly Approval

Switchblades, Among Other Knives, Would Be Legal To Carry Under Plan

Scott Feldstein (CC-BY)

People would be allowed to carry switchblades and any other kind of knife in Wisconsin under a bill that passed the state Assembly Tuesday.

Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, said the bill started out in committee as an effort to update state law so that people who carry small spring-loaded knives don’t get charged with carrying a switchblade.

“What came out was a massive expansion of knife possession rights in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

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Indeed, the plan the Assembly passed would not only legalize switchblades, but would also let people carry any knives, whether in their pocket or out in the open. Moreover, local governments would be banned from passing ordinances that restrict knives.

Some Democrats said it would make Wisconsin less safe. Rep. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, said she heard some of the same arguments when Republicans passed concealed carry a few years ago.

“The sky didn’t fall then, and the sky is not going to fall now,” she said.

The plan passed on a voice vote. It now heads next to the Senate.