Yes, effective February 2016.
Not a problem.
Possession of dangerous weapons, or transfer of the same to a minor, is prohibited.
Possession of dangerous weapons, other than firearms, on school premises is prohibited.
There are no restricted or prohibited knives.
Wisconsin law does not generally restrict the possession and carry of knives either openly or concealed. While there is a statute that prohibits the concealed carry of any dangerous weapon: (941.23), knives are specifically excluded from that prohibition.
The statute captioned Carrying a Concealed Knife (941.231) applies to persons convicted of certain crimes, subject to a restraining order, or having a mental disability.
939.22. Words and phrases defined
941.20. Endangering safety by use of dangerous weapon
941.23. Carrying concealed weapon
941.231. Carrying a concealed knife
948.60. Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18
948.61. Dangerous weapons other than firearms on school premises
66.0409. Local regulation of weapons (preemption)
Yes. 66.0409, provides for statewide uniformity. It also contains a provision intended to prevent pretextual ”disorderly conduct” violations based on knife possession:
Unless other facts and circumstances that indicate a criminal or malicious intent on the part of the person apply, no person may be in violation of, or be charged with a violation of, an ordinance of a political subdivision relating to disorderly conduct or other inappropriate behavior for . . . or for carrying or going armed with a firearm or a knife, without regard to whether the firearm is loaded or the firearm or knife is concealed or openly carried. Any ordinance in violation of this subsection does not apply and may not be enforced.
Restrictions on Sale or Transfer:
It is unlawful under 948.60 to transfer a “dangerous weapon” as defined by 939.22 (10) to a minor. A knife may be considered a dangerous weapon
Concealed carry is not an issue. Knives may be carried openly or concealed
Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations/Circumstances:
Knives are prohibited at all schools K-12 which includes buildings and grounds, athletic fields, recreation areas, and any other property used or operated for school administration. Local governments may restrict the possession of knives at government facilities.
There is essentially no clear appeal court-level guidance on what knives, if any, may be dangerous weapons. Wisconsin law removes knives from the general concealed carry prohibition, it does however have a portion for “dangerous weapon”:
939.22 (10) “Dangerous weapon” means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any ligature or other instrumentality used on the throat, neck, nose, or mouth of another person to impede, partially or completely, breathing or circulation of blood; any electric weapon, . . . or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Knives clearly designed as a weapon might be considered dangerous weapons based on this definition. Violations of Chapter 941 involving knives are Class A misdemeanors and carry a maximum of 9 months confinement and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Overall, Wisconsin allows a very healthy degree of freedom with respect to knives. People in Wisconsin should not become complacent when traveling into neighboring Illinois or other states where more significant restrictions and penalties may apply.
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