1. #1
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    Laws on knifes and swords in Wisconsin?

    Hi there,


    I am in the process of moving from Canada to Madison, WI. I am an active member of a western martial arts group, specifically German longsword.
    Due to this, I own a sharp German longsword as well as a sharp folder knife (3 inch blade length, assisted opening), that I use as a utility knife.

    Here are my questions;
    1) What are the laws regarding the carrying and display of the sword? Specifically can I take it to class as a demo object? Can I do test cutting in my garden with it? When I transport it, what is the correct way to do so?

    2) The folder knife: Can I carry it around (in Canada that's legal)? What about the law on concealed and dangerous weapons- does that apply? If so, does carrying the knife openly remedy the situation (i.e. outside of my pocket)?

    If a Madison or WI LEO could help, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,

    Hammer

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    How about going to the WI state websites and doing some research? Yes. Someone could just give you an answer, but then you wouldn't learn anything except it's easier for someone else to do the work.

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    laws on knifes and swords in wi

    Quote Originally Posted by District B 13 View Post
    How about going to the WI state websites and doing some research? Yes. Someone could just give you an answer, but then you wouldn't learn anything except it's easier for someone else to do the work.

    Hi there,


    I did that, of course. The problem is, that the law is worded vaguely. Specifically I could not find a good definition on what a concealed and dagerous weapon is. Do folder knifes always fall under that? If not, what is the maximum allowed blade length? Is it in the power of the LEO to decide?

    As for swords, I do believe they are legal to own and carry openly, but using one to cut up stuff might still be considered brandishing a lethal weapon for example.
    I wanted to hear from the LEOs on the ground, how they handle these things, as I would rather not be arrested.

    Thanks,


    Hammer

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    I say good on you for trying to understand the laws first. That being said, I do not work in Wisconsin and cannot give you reliable information on how their laws are enforced.

    In general, your folding knife should not be a problem at all. The sword, who knows? You could try posting in the Wisconsin Forums, or give Madison PD a call and speak with an officer at the station prior to your move. Good luck
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    If I remember right I believe there is some regulations pertaining to your "swords". I haven't work for a WI LE agency for 4 yrs so my knowledge is vague.

    Try searching http://www.legis.state.wi.us/RSB/STATS.HTML. This site has the current WI law.

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    In regards to the knife, whether or not it's considered a concealed weapon depends on your intent in regards to carrying it. You stated that you use it as a utility knife - if it ever came up in a LE contact and you told them that, I'd think you'd be good to go. Now if you stated you were carrying it for self defense, it could be argued at that point that you're carrying a concealed weapon. There are no state statute limitations to the blade length. Depending on what you mean by "assisted opening" it may or may not fall under state statute 941.24 - possession of a switchblade knife.

    I haven't ever had to deal with anyone carrying a sword, and have never looked at the statutes for anything like that until now. I couldn't find anything prohibiting it, but keep in mind we have a statute against disorderly conduct (947.01). If someone were to complain to an officer, you could possibly be arrested under that. In short, if you transport it I'd do so sheathed (if possible) in the trunk. If you do any test cutting in the garden, I personally wouldn't bother you about it, but I don't know how others would react.

    I'd recommend calling the Madison PD still and check with them about both the knife and the sword. You may run into additional restrictions due to county and/or city ordinances. I work too far away from there to have any idea what their ordinances are.

    And if any other WI LEOs disagree with me here, feel free to chime in.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxcrispyxricexx View Post
    Depending on what you mean by "assisted opening" it may or may not fall under state statute 941.24 - possession of a switchblade knife.
    Generally speaking, any knife that utilizes a spring mechanism to "assist" the opening (like the Kershaw assisted opening knives) are illegal in Wisconsin.

    Quote Originally Posted by xxcrispyxricexx View Post
    I haven't ever had to deal with anyone carrying a sword, and have never looked at the statutes for anything like that until now. I couldn't find anything prohibiting it, but keep in mind we have a statute against disorderly conduct (947.01). If someone were to complain to an officer, you could possibly be arrested under that. In short, if you transport it I'd do so sheathed (if possible) in the trunk. If you do any test cutting in the garden, I personally wouldn't bother you about it, but I don't know how others would react.
    A sword, by itself, is not illegal. They way your using or displaying said weapon could be illegal however. Use common sense and you should be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by xxcrispyxricexx View Post
    I'd recommend calling the Madison PD still and check with them about both the knife and the sword. You may run into additional restrictions due to county and/or city ordinances. I work too far away from there to have any idea what their ordinances are.
    +1 on this. Each municipality can enact their own ordinances that can be more restrictive than state law. Madison has a ton of ordinances, and generally speaking, is not that friendly towards weaponry. Your best bet would be to contact Madison PD directly and find out.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
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