Carrying switchblades now legal
New London complies with state law
By Scott Bellile
A New London municipal ordinance will be amended to comply with a new state act that allows people to carry switchblade knives.
The finance and personnel committee on March 1 approved a recommendation to city council to amend section 9.28 of the municipal code. Section 9.28 lists weapons that people aren’t permitted to carry within the city, which at the time of the March 1 meeting listed switchblades and knives.
New London Police Chief Jeff Schlueter told the committee that Gov. Scott Walker signed 2015 Wisconsin Act 149 on Feb. 6, allowing almost anyone to carry a knife openly or concealed in Wisconsin. People who can’t legally carry a firearm are restricted from carrying knives.
The committee passed the motion 4-1 with little discussion. Mary Tate voted against.
“I want to be on record – I oppose this whether legally I can or not,” Tate said.
Tate said she doesn’t understand the reasoning for Act 149 and suggested the lawmakers were out of their minds when they passed it.
“I mean, who needs to carry all this crap?” Tate asked.
Slingshots, lead and brass knuckles, throwing stars, nunchucks and batons will remain on New London’s list of prohibited weapons. Switchblades, straight razors and knives with blades three inches or longer are coming off the list.
The city council technically had to approve the finance and personnel committee’s recommendation, which was scheduled to occur Tuesday, March 8, after the New London Press Star went to press. But the council had little choice but to approve it because under Act 149, local governments can’t regulate knives more strictly than the state.
Local governments also can’t restrict knife sales or limit blade length under Wisconsin Statute 66.0409, but they can choose to prohibit knives in government buildings.