Wisconsin Knife Laws

Wisconsin knife lawsWisconsin’s knife laws are a bit confusing and tricky. There some changes have added to the definitions of some things. Moreover, knife laws in this State are not that tough and broad but you have to have clear ideas about the updated legislature.

Knife Possession Laws

According to Wisconsin’s Statutes of 2012, switchblades, gravity knives, and other automatic knives are banned. Those who manufacture, sell or offer to sell, purchase, possess and transport these knives are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. But from 2016, a lot more has changed in the Statutes which have been discussed below.

The code “941.24: Possession of switchblade knife” mentions the law from 2012.

“(1) Whoever manufactures, sells or offers to sell, transports, purchases, possesses or goes armed with any knife having a blade which opens by pressing a button, spring or other devices in the handle or by gravity or by a thrust or movement is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

Revised Statutes

In 2015, switchblades have been removed from the definition of “weapon”. In fact, knives are not included in the definition of “weapon” not anymore.

“175.60 (1) (j) “Weapon” means a handgun, an electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295 (1c) (a), a knife other than a switchblade knife under s. 941.24, or a billy club.”

Also, knives have been removed from the definition of “dangerous weapon” as well.

“939.22 (10), “dangerous weapon” does not include a knife.”

So, it can be said that any kind of knives are now out of danger as they are not counted as weapons anymore.

Take a look at the knives that are legal to own now,

  • All sorts of pocket knives are legal to own.
  • Switchblades and other automatic knives are legal to own.
  • Gravity knives are legal to own.
  • Ballistic knives are legal.
  • Hunting, fishing or other utility knives are legal to own.
  • Knives that are hidden under things like a pen, cane, lipstick or belt buckles etc. are legal.
  • Balisong or butterfly knives such as benchmade knives are legal.
  • Bowie knives and other large single-edged knives are legal.
  • Dirks, daggers, stilettos and other double-edged knives are legal.
  • Throwing stars, nun-chu-ka, throwing knives etc. and other martial arts’ weapons are legal.
  • All sorts of undetectable knives are legal.


Knife Carry Laws

Knife Open Carry: It is legal to carry openly any legal knives in Wisconsin. As switchblades are no more illegal because they are out of weapons, so carrying all types of knives openly are legal now.

Knife Conceal Carry: There is no restriction while concealing any knives as well. The statute mentions in 2012’s section of “941.23: Carrying concealed weapon” that, who conceal carries a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. But no knives are now included in the definition of the dangerous weapon. So, there is nothing illegal if you conceal carry any knives here.

“(2)Any person, who carries a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

Also, the 2015’s new legislature mentions “carrying a concealed knife”. If you are prohibited from possessing a gun and you conceal carry a knife with a gun, it will be counted as a dangerous weapon and in that case, this will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

“941.231 Carrying a concealed knife: Any person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under s. 941.29 who goes armed with a concealed knife that is a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”


Knife Laws for the Minors

For the minors, the definition of the “dangerous weapon” is different and here some knives and similar to those instruments are added. They include metallic knuckles, nunchaku, throwing stars or any other instruments which can cause injuries to any person if thrown at them.

If any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years old possess any of these dangerous weapons, he or she will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Look for yourself in the subsection no. “948.60: Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18”

“(1)  In this section, “dangerous weapon” means … metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles; a nunchaku or any similar weapon … or any similar pointed star-like object intended to injure a person when thrown…”

“(2) (a) Any person under 18 years of age who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Knife Laws in the Schools

Wisconsin’s schools and other educational institutions are the weapons and knife-free zone.


Sum up to the Knife Laws in Wisconsin

Many of the sites still confuse with the old laws of 2012. The updated legislature has changed a lot of things and definitions for which the entire knife laws have been changed. So, before you know the laws make sure you are looking at the 2015-2016’s legislature.

Wisconsin now has become one of the friendliest States for its knife laws like South Dakota so far.

Resources: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/related/acts/149









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