Knife Rights’ Wisconsin Knife Law Reform Bill Signed!

Governor Walker reads the inscription on the specially engraved Pro-Tech TR-4 automatic knife presented to him by Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter (right). Wisconsin FORCE Executive Directer Jeff Nass (left) looks on. (Mark LaBarbera photo)
Governor Walker reads the inscription on the specially engraved Pro-Tech TR-4 automatic knife presented to him by Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter (right). Wisconsin FORCE Executive Directer Jeff Nass (left) looks on. (Mark LaBarbera photo)

Gilbert, AZ –-( Knife Rights’ Wisconsin Knife Law Reform Bill including Knife Law Preemption, AB 142, was signed on Saturday by Governor Scott Walker.

Wisconsin is the eleventh state in which Knife Rights has repealed a switchblade ban and the tenth in which we have passed Knife Law Preemption. The law goes into effect as soon as it is officially published, which is expected to occur this week.

The signing ceremony was held during the annual meeting of Wisconsin FORCE, the state NRA affiliate. Wisconsin FORCE and Executive Director Jeff Nass played a critical role in passage of the bill and Knife Rights is appreciative of their support for our efforts to forge a Sharper Future for all Americans.

At the signing, Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter presented Governor Walker with a Pro-Tech TR-4 automatic (switchblade) knife specially engraved with the state seal and his name and dedication during the signing ceremony.

Speaking of the new law he was signing, and echoing Ritter’s statement that Knife Rights is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment, the governor said, “Wisconsin citizens have the fundamental right to defend themselves and feel safe and secure in their homes and we remain committed to protecting those rights.”

Bill sponsors Representative Kathleen Bernier and Senator Terry Moulton received specially engraved Allen Elishewitz designed Hogue EX-A01 automatic knives in recognition of their efforts to get this bill passed. Present at the signing was Travis Hakes (standing behind Gov. Walker in photo above), a law enforcement officer and owner of Trigger Control LLC, who first brought the issue of the state’s switchblade ban to the attention of Rep. Bernier. He also received one of the Hogue EX-A01 autos to honor his help in providing the spark that ignited the limited legislation which after hard lobbying by Knife Rights and our friends and resulting amendments eventually resulted in full knife law reform in Wisconsin.

AB 142 removes all restrictions on switchblades (automatic) knives and concealed carry of all knives from Wisconsin statutes with the single exception that a person who is prohibited under state law from possessing a firearm may also not go armed with a concealed knife that is a “dangerous weapon.”

Despite some erroneous reports to the contrary, there is no restriction in the statute as to who can now buy, own and carry an automatic knife in Wisconsin. Because the legislature insisted on retaining a limit on concealed carry by a prohibited person, there is some ambiguity as to what knives such a person can carry concealed. What type knife or knives are considered a “dangerous weapon” with respect to the prohibited person restriction is not defined in statute.

The Knife Law Preemption aspect of AB 142 repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

AB 142 retains political subdivisions’ ability to “[prohibit] the possession of a knife in a building, or part of a building, that is owned, occupied, or controlled by the political subdivision.”

Knife Rights passed the nation’s first Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010 and has since passed preemption bills in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Knife Rights has repealed knife bans in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

Thanks to Pro-Tech Knives and Hogue for their donation of automatic knives for the signing ceremony.

Please Help Support Knife Rights’ Legislative Activities Protecting Knife Owners


Knife Rights ( is America’s Grassroots Knife Owners Organization, working towards a Sharper Future for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice in public policy. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit

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A person who is prohibited under state law from possessing a firearm may also not go armed with a concealed knife that is a “dangerous weapon.” 941.23 (AP) States “Dangerous weapon” does NOT include a knife. So what is it?

Chucks remiker

Knife Rights did a good job on getting this passed but screwed a big part of the population by allowing the exception of the no firearm no knife clause I was in a minor altercations with my ex in 2001 and been clean scince now a knife that should be legal to posses is now ileagal so people like me get screwed and reprosecuted .

Dean Knobel

I`m 62 yrs. old and disabled. I require a cane to walk. I was wondering about the legality of using a sword cane, and if there are any restrictions on the length of the blade. The sword, of course, would be concealed until it`s use was required and would that affect it`s legal status.

Wild Bill

@Dean K, You are asking for legal advice. You need to establish a relationship with an attorney in your state. That way the attorney client privilege will protect you regarding any questions that you may ask him. Anything that you ask here is not privileged.

Dean K.

I was simply asking about the content of the new law, something I was hoping you`d know. I`m certainly not that gun-ho about the sword cane that I`m going to pay legal fees to have my question answered, and I wouldn`t consider carrying one if it wasn`t legal..


So can you open carry any size knife to?


Knives were removed form the dangerous weapon definition. Can’t conceil carry knives if you cannot possess a firearm. Any knife?? Is a knife in pocket concidered conceiled? What about one with a pocket clip. U see the clip and end of folded knife (may not even be a knife attached to that clip)

Roberto Rodriguez

So we’re now allowed to carry a concealed knife of any type and any length as long as it isn’t considered to be a “Dangerous Weapon”? It sounds like the police and judges have just been given the authority to define your knife as illegal if the knife you have with you when they stop you is SHARP. Not all that difficult to charge someone with having a dangerous weapon if it’s a sharp knife of any type, and of any length. A sharp knife is all it takes to define it as dangerous.

Boss boots

It only matters if you’re banned from having a firearm. Open carry if you must, don’t be a paranoid knob.


I didn’t see anything about no swords in that amendment, and previously they’ve always been legal as long as they weren’t concealed, since they’re is no longer any limit on the length of a open carry blade I’m pretty sure even concealed swords are fine now as well, if anyone knows for sure I’d be interested


what does that on butterfly knives, still illegal?


This Youtube video Switchblades now Legal in Wisconsin! says butterfly knives are legal. I would say legal since no law says they aren’t but the new law is extremely vague, no swords but knives of any length OK (machetes ok?), no age limit (a swipe at Milwaukee?), no restrictions on carrying while intoxicated.


Jay, further the link for the JS Online article about Bill 142 says law allows people to carry concealed bowie knives and other edged weapons such as hatchets. So I say yes again on the butterfly knife but be careful with it. I’ll take a gun over the hatchet in a robbery but I saw on TV once the Native American Tomahawk was the most feared weapon of all time which I believe and highly doubt even a thug with a gun is going to mess with a kid with a hatchet.


How do I get the permit, and what is the cost?


So there is not age limit on buying a switchblade? Someone told me it is nine but I don’t see that in the bill nor article I read on this bill. Thank you