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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

 2:44 PM 

Knife bill clears Assembly

A bill that would let people go armed with knives passed the Assembly on a voice vote.

AB 142 would repeal the state’s switchblade prohibition and let people carry any kind of knife, without regard to its concealment. But those who would not be eligible for a concealed-carry permit in the state would not be able to go armed with a knife.

Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, said he supported the bill when it focused just on an outdated definition of switchblades. But when the bill was amended to establish concealed carry for all knives, he said, the legislation lost his backing.

"The bill we started with is not the bill we have before us," Goyke said, adding the current bill is "bad public policy."

Author Rep. Kathleen Bernier’s bill also would prohibit local governments from enacting knife prohibitions that are stricter than the state’s. The Chippewa Falls Republican said the idea came from a constituent who is a police officer and a concealed-carry instructor.

That constituent said he has fielded many questions about where knives fall into the concealed-carry law, Bernier said. The answer to that question is the bill, Bernier said, and it's good legislation no matter what Goyke says.

"He's just wrong on this one," she said.

The Assembly’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee amended and then approved the bill on an 8-2 vote. Dem LaTonya Johnson, of Milwaukee, joined committee Republicans in support of the bill.


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