Knife Rights and Wisconsin Force worked together to pass a significant reform of antiquated knife laws in Wisconsin. Wisconsin knife laws date back to the muckraker days, when the media was able to pass nonsensical laws based on "trendy", "progressive", emotional notions rather than on common sense, or any consideration for the the Constitution. Wisconsin's silly and dangerous switchblade ban dates to 1956. It has been used to fine, convict and incarcerate hundreds, if not thousands of people who were only exercising their Second Amendment rights.
In 1998, Wisconsin finally finished the arduous process to pass a right to keep and bear arms amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution. It ended any argument about weather the Second Amendment applied to Wisconsin. From Article I Section 25:
The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.It is hard to see how a ban on the carry of knives, which are clearly "arms" could withstand any serious consideration in a Wisconsin Court. An appeals court in Wisconsin recently confirmed that knives are arms protected under the Constitution.
Votes for the bill were uncontroversial. It passed with unanimous voice vote in the Senate, after passing the Assembly in October of 2015 with one dissenting vote.
As more people are bearing arms, violent crime has been going down. Violent crime has dropped by half since 1993; the number of people with firearms permits has increased by more than 1,000 percent in that period. Wisconsin was the next to last state to enact a law reforming their concealed carry law, in 2010.
People who may legally possess firearms will have the right to carry knives concealed. Otherwise there will be almost no restrictions on the carry of knives.
Governor Walker signed the bill today, 6 February, 2016, at a bill signing ceremony at the annual meeting of Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators (FORCE). Governor Walker was presented with a fancy and utilitarian switchblade knife by Knife Rights. From wi.gov:
Assembly Bill 142 – as amended, repeals the prohibition on manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing or possessing a switchblade knife. Additionally, the bill would prohibit political subdivisions from enacting ordinances or adopting resolutions that regulate knives more stringently than state law. While no local ordinances can be written regulating knives in general, they can pass a local ordinance regulating them in municipally-owned buildings. The bill would also allow a person to carry a concealed knife, unless that person is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law. Finally, the bill would provide that a person may not be convicted of disorderly conduct for concealed or openly carrying a knife, unless other facts and circumstances indicate a criminal or malicious intent on the part of that person. Authored by Representative Kathleen Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls) and Senator Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote. It is Act 149.
AB142 has now become Act 149. After it is published, it will become law. That is normally only a matter of two business days. I expect Act 149 to take effect by Wednesday, February 10th, at the latest.
Knife Rights may well be the most effective organization, per dollar spent, as a Second Amendment defender. There motto is that knife rights is the second front in the war for the Second Amendment. They have been winning major battles every year.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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