[JURIST] An appellate court in Wisconsin ruled [opinion] Tuesday that the application of a state law that prohibits possession of certain knives violates the Second Amendment [text] right to bear arms. The law in Wisconsin regarding the Possession of a Switchblade Knife [§ 941.24(1), text] prohibits possession of “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.” Defendant Cory Herrmann injured himself while handling a switch blade in a non-violent situation in his own home. The court reasoned that knives should be granted protection under the Second Amendment, with the decision relying heavily [On Point report] on the US Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller [opinion, PDF]. Among the reasons the court found § 941.24(1) unconstitutional is that knives are no more lethal than guns [Volokh Conspiracy report] and switchblades offer certain advantages over guns in terms of safety.
Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial topics across the US. Last week the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments [JURIST report] in a challenge to a federal judge’s authority to issue a ruling that struck down modifications to firearm possession laws in the District of Columbia. Earlier this month the US Supreme Court granted certiorari [JURIST report] in the firearm possessionVoisine v. US [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] after having considered the case at two previous conferences this year. In October, Maine’s revised concealed carry law went into effect [JURIST report] allowing legal gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit. In July US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ordered a review [JURIST report] of military recruitment office security policies in the wake of a shooting at a Tennessee Navy-Marine reserve center. Last December the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that a law prohibiting individuals who have been committed to a mental institution for any amount of time from possessing a firearm is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.