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Thursday, June 20, 2024
Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law Saturday extending the concealed carry law to protect switchblades.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law Saturday extending the concealed carry law to protect switchblades.

?Gov. Walker signs bill allowing concealed carry for switchblades

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law Saturday repealing the prohibition on switchblades and protecting switchblades under concealed carry law, according to a press release by the governor’s office.

Walker signed the legislation, Assembly Bill 142, while attending the annual National Rifle Association and Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs & Educators, Inc. Convention in Weston.

Concealed carry, which Walker first signed into law in 2011, allows owners of small guns, knives and now switchblades to obtain a license to carry them undisclosed. AB 142, however, precludes the concealed carry of switchblades if a person is prohibited from owning a firearm under state law. The bill was authored by Rep. Kathleen Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, and Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls.

The legislation was first circulated last March. At the time, Chad Zuleger, legislative staff for Bernier, said the exclusion of switchblades in concealed carry confused constituents, prompting a concealed carry instructor in Bernier’s district to request the bill.

“Through the course of his instruction, the question often comes up about switchblade knives,” Zuleger said.

Bernier released a statement Saturday voicing her approval of Walker signing the bill.

“As the law stands today many retailers and everyday citizens are unknowingly violating state law by selling, or even possessing, what Wisconsin Statutes define as a switchblade knife,” Bernier said. “This bill will clarify and simplify Wisconsin’s knife law so that police, and citizens understand what is legal.”

Democrats, however, have condemned the legislation as harmful and unnecessary.

“This is totally, totally misguided. What is next? Nunchucks?” said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, according to the Associated Press. “I cannot understand this bill. I think this is a horrible bill.”

The bill contains other switchblade regulations as well. It lifts the prohibition on manufacturing, selling, transporting or purchasing switchblades. The bill also prohibits political subdivisions from adopting resolutions that regulate knives more stringently than state law.

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