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Thread: Butterfly Knife

  1. #1
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    Butterfly Knife

    I got my permit yesterday and when I was reading the letter it said that I could carry a knife except for a switchblade (which includes a butterfly knife). Where does it say that butterfly knives are not allowed? I really don't understand this part. Butterfly knives are one of the safest styles to carry. Once you latch the handles shut, it will not accidentally open up and cut you like many other knives.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    941.24  Possession of switchblade knife.
    (1) Whoever manufactures, sells or offers to sell, transports, purchases, possesses or goes armed with any knife having a blade which opens by pressing a button, spring or other device in the handle or by gravity or by a thrust or movement is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

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    I see that part, but it is quite vague. Many knives can be opened with a thrust. A butterfly knife does not have a button to open it. I guess the part that I don't understand is that many knives are opened by pressing a button, spring or other device in the handle or by gravity or by a thrust or movement. About the only knife that doesn't apply here is my grandpa's old timer knife. Any new Benchmade knife could be considered illegal. So would everyone who has any style of new knife be charged with this? Or would just people with butterfly knives? What is the difference really? A knife is a knife in my book. It shouldn't really matter how it is opened. According to this, I would be allowed to carry a three foot sword but not a three inch butterfly knife. I guess I may be trying to understand a politician, which will never happen.

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    You need to understand that many lawmakers no little about anything

    I am willing to bet that more than half of the people who are responsible for outlawing a butterfly knife do not even have a clue aas to what it is.

    Case in point, a New York legislator who got her panties in a twist trying to outlaw "Barrel Shrouds" on long guns, yet she had no clue what a barrel shroud was, its purpose, or where it was even located, or attached to the firearm. When pressed to answer the question of "What is a barrel Shroud" her answer was "That thingy on the back that flips up"

    So take a look at who authored, co-authored, sponsored, and voted on that bill, contact them and ask them what their reasoning is/was and ask them to describe a butterfly knife and why they are so evil. You will most likely be unpleasantly surprised at their answers. Then you know who to vote against during the next election cycle. We need legislators who are in touch with reality and not so damn ignorant if we ever want positive changes to happen.

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    No where in Wisconsin law does it actually call out a butterfly knife, but in the letter it specifically names butterfly knives. I am not sure where to even begin with this because there is not an actual law against them.

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    Regular Member BROKENSPROKET's Avatar
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    So baasically, any knife that can be opened with one hand is illegal. Being able to open my spring assisted that has a safety with one hand might save my life some day.

    We need to get some of our freedom minded Legislators to take a look at Wisconsins knife laws and offering a bill that would clean them up to where they make sense.

    What is the logic in allowing me to carry a .45 handgun and not a knife like this?
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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BROKENSPROKET View Post
    So baasically, any knife that can be opened with one hand is illegal. Being able to open my spring assisted that has a safety with one hand might save my life some day.

    We need to get some of our freedom minded Legislators to take a look at Wisconsins knife laws and offering a bill that would clean them up to where they make sense.

    What is the logic in allowing me to carry a .45 handgun and not a knife like this?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can flip open pretty much any folding knife. So by their reasoning, my Recon 1 would be illegal?
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Campaign Veteran rcawdor57's Avatar
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    Question What If A Person Has Only One Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by BROKENSPROKET View Post
    So baasically, any knife that can be opened with one hand is illegal. Being able to open my spring assisted that has a safety with one hand might save my life some day.

    We need to get some of our freedom minded Legislators to take a look at Wisconsins knife laws and offering a bill that would clean them up to where they make sense.

    What is the logic in allowing me to carry a .45 handgun and not a knife like this?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We have quite a few Veterans that have lost the use of an arm that would need a knife that can be opened with only one hand. They legally cannot carry a knife that meets the description in Wisconsin statutes of a switchblade. Just another dumb law on the books.
    “The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the People of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” -- Samuel Adams

    “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen. Citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”

    —John F. Kennedy

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    Regular Member Resdon111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutczak View Post
    So take a look at who authored, co-authored, sponsored, and voted on that bill, contact them and ask them what their reasoning is/was and ask them to describe a butterfly knife and why they are so evil. You will most likely be unpleasantly surprised at their answers. Then you know who to vote against during the next election cycle. We need legislators who are in touch with reality and not so damn ignorant if we ever want positive changes to happen.
    The whole banning of switchblades and whatnot was a result of fear mongering. It happened back in the sixties, I think, as a response to switchblades becoming a symbol of gang membership ( I always say that people were afraid of West Side Story). A lot of folks that worked to pass the bill probably aren't in office anymore.

    That said, even though state law prohibits them they are still banned at the federal level. However "assisted opening" knives were specifically exempted from swithchblade laws in a homeland security bill last year.
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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutczak View Post
    When pressed to answer the question of "What is a barrel Shroud" her answer was "That thingy on the back that flips up"
    .
    ...
    Carolyn McCarthy Video
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 12-14-2011 at 02:05 PM.

  11. #11
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resdon111 View Post
    That said, even though state law prohibits them they are still banned at the federal level. However "assisted opening" knives were specifically exempted from swithchblade laws in a homeland security bill last year.
    A citation please.

    "Homeland security bill" turned my stomach and left bile in my mouth. Merry Christmas. A mountain of coal burning hellfire to Big Sis Incompetano and her enabling familiar.

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    Regular Member Resdon111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    A citation please.

    "Homeland security bill" turned my stomach and left bile in my mouth. Merry Christmas. A mountain of coal burning hellfire to Big Sis Incompetano and her enabling familiar.
    US Code, Title 15, Chapter 29, §1243. Manufacture, sale, or possession within specific jurisdictions; penalty

    Whoever, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), manufactures, sells, or possesses any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

    US Code, Title 15, Chapter 29, §1244. Exceptions

    Sections 1242 and 1243 of this title shall not apply to—
    (1) any common carrier or contract carrier, with respect to any switchblade knife shipped, transported, or delivered for shipment in interstate commerce in the ordinary course of business;
    (2) the manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution, possession, or introduction into interstate commerce, of switchblade knives pursuant to contract with the Armed Forces;
    (3) the Armed Forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his duty;
    (4) the possession, and transportation upon his person, of any switchblade knife with a blade three inches or less in length by any individual who has only one arm; or
    (5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife.


    Cited from the U.S House of Representatives U.S Code site
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post

  14. #14
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resdon111 View Post
    (5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife.
    [A] knife that contains a spring,... designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade [. And] that requires exertion ... in opening the knife.

    Thanks for the citation to a federal law concerning a knife that must be pulled open. Reading skills ...

    ETA: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70483.html
    Last edited by Herr Heckler Koch; 12-15-2011 at 06:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    [A] knife that contains a spring,... designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade [. And] that requires exertion ... in opening the knife.

    Thanks for the citation to a federal law concerning a knife that must be pulled open. Reading skills ...

    ETA: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70483.html

    So I guess this brings me back to my originsl thought. A butterfly knife has no spring. So I don't think butterfly knives should even count here. But how do I change something that doesn't exist? Do I write to the DOJ and ask where they found the statute banning butterfly knives? I am pretty sure I will not get anywhere doing that.

  16. #16
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    The DoJ crap that came with my license also suggested that I volunteer something to a cop. I will not and it is not law. We have the rights that we enforce.

  17. #17
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcawdor57 View Post
    We have quite a few Veterans that have lost the use of an arm that would need a knife that can be opened with only one hand. They legally cannot carry a knife that meets the description in Wisconsin statutes of a switchblade. Just another dumb law on the books.
    I coulda sworn there was something in WI law that allowed disabled people to have assisted knives.

    Butterfly knives are often considered gravity knives.

    I think someone would have to try pretty hard to trump up a charge for a thumb-assisted or lever-assisted knife.

  18. #18
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    Wisconsin simply needs to eliminate the switchblade law and enact knife preemption

    Quote Originally Posted by junkie View Post
    So I guess this brings me back to my originsl thought. A butterfly knife has no spring. So I don't think butterfly knives should even count here. But how do I change something that doesn't exist? Do I write to the DOJ and ask where they found the statute banning butterfly knives? I am pretty sure I will not get anywhere doing that.
    New Hampshire already did this. Arizona never had the switchblade law, and we enacted knife preemption last year.

    Utah enacted knife preemption also.

    We need to push for removal of these silly "copycat" laws that are based on fearmongering and old "progressive" mythologies. It can be done. New Hampshire and Arizona are good models.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Resdon111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    [A] knife that contains a spring,... designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade [. And] that requires exertion ... in opening the knife.

    Thanks for the citation to a federal law concerning a knife that must be pulled open. Reading skills ...

    ETA: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70483.html
    I think you should ponder that a little more analytically sir. I own my fair share of assisted opening knives. Every one of them fits the description of the exemption while all of my unassisted knives don't. A non assisted knife isn't biased towards closure; you unlock the blade and it moves limply into the handle. Close an AO knife and you have to apply pressure to the mechanism until the bias takes over and pulls the blade into the handle.

    Also, think more carefully about the second part of that sentence. "...that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife." That second half isn't about the actual opening of the knife, its about how its opened. As in not by a button, gravity, inertia, etc but by applying force to the blade which would include something like a flipper or thumb stud. Example: A Microtech double action out the front knife is most positively a switchblade. It opens by the push of a button, but because it retracts back into the handle by power of a spring it is most certainly biased towards closure. If the exemption only said "a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade", the Microtech wouldn't be considered a switchblade because of that spring loaded closure. Even though it opens by the push of a button, the exemption would have made it legal. The second half is about excluding push button, gravity, inertial, etc knives from the assisted open exemption while allowing knives that open by force applied to the actual blade (flippers, thumb studs, etc).

    Stow the attitude.
    Last edited by Resdon111; 12-15-2011 at 10:07 PM.
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  20. #20
    Regular Member bluehighways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resdon111 View Post
    The whole banning of switchblades and whatnot was a result of fear mongering. It happened back in the sixties, I think, as a response to switchblades becoming a symbol of gang membership ( I always say that people were afraid of West Side Story). A lot of folks that worked to pass the bill probably aren't in office anymore.

    That said, even though state law prohibits them they are still banned at the federal level. However "assisted opening" knives were specifically exempted from swithchblade laws in a homeland security bill last year.
    You are very close to being right on the money. Wisconsin's anti-switchblade law was enacted in 1958 as a knee-jerk response to Hollywood movies portraying biker gangs terrorizing small towns in rural america. In these low-budget films, the nasty biker gangs and individual derelicts often fought each other with switchblades.

    The good politicians of Wisconsin used this "scary" situation to their benefit. They stumped around town and state using the "many" dangers of automatic knives to get elected into office. (Something all too familiar to participants on this board) This ridiculous antiquated law has been around for 53 years, and remains today.

    Butterfly knives have apparently been relegated into the same taboo hall of shame as the automatic opening knife. Both kinds of knives are fun to have, BTW.
    Last edited by bluehighways; 12-16-2011 at 03:04 AM.
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