Knife Laws In Chicago

knife-laws-in-chicago

Knife Laws In Chicago

Chicago is a place of jazzy outdoor activities. Nothing gives you a good vibe of nature than Chicago’s lakes and hiking trails do. And when we talk about the adventure the first thing that pops in our mind is a “knife”. Moreover, there are different knife laws rampant in the fifty states of the US, they are almost the same with a slight variation. Though all fifty states allow their dwellers to use survival knives for their safety. Chicago also permits its citizens to use rescue knives and urges a sensible approach from the residents. Moreover, the laws are maintained for the safety of citizens and they should respect the knife legislation imposed by the state.

Illegal or legal…that’s the QUESTION!

It is always suggested to use the right gear for the right job. If you are on hiking trails you need an extremely sharp knife to prep food, cut ropes or process small or big game. Thus, having a knife (of any legal kind) is handy as it provides us with a quick response to our most rudimentary needs. Whether you are a citizen of Chicago or intended to land in, you must seek knife laws of the state to avoid any gawkiness caused by ignorance.

The knife family we see around

Usually, we observe the following type of knives we need

1 - Fixed Blade

Knives that are fixed from the handle to the blade have no moving parts and are carried in a sheath.

2 - Folding Blade

It is opened by the flick of the thumb, and the blade locks in place when fully protracted.

3- Automatic Blade

Blade expels by gliding switch or pressing button release.

Knife laws concerning all types of knives

As we know knife laws vary from state to state and affect across state borders, so let’s figure out what is legal and illegal in the eyes of law with regards to owning and carrying knives in Chicago.

1 - Fixed blade knives

Fixed blade knives are kept in the sheath and are also called sheath knives due to the casing they are carried in. Moreover, fixed blade knives are the most robust and craggy ones than your standard pocket knife due to the fixed parts; single-piece construction makes it the tougher cutting tool. Fixed blades support longer blades that are used to serve multiple tasks. The maximum length of the fixed blade tends up to and beyond 13” in length. They are the perfect tool to enjoy ecstasy. Moreover, thrill-seekers always keep fixed blade knives in their wilderness survival knit. Though, they are generally legal to own and carry in public.

Legal standing on carrying these knives
  • Open Carry is perfectly legal, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.
  • Conceal Carry is perfectly legal, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.
Illegal status

Blades longer than 3 inches in length are strictly prohibited and cannot be carried on public properties. As it portrays a “deadly weapon” and could cause harm to anyone.

2 - Folding Blade Knives

Folding blade knives are the most versatile helping gear and have an extensive practical approach. Moreover, folding knives are sleek and delicately perform the task speedily. A single-handed tool is easy to manage. Its opening and closing mechanism is smart and comfortable. It is an ideal pick for both outdoors and every day carries. Folding blade knives are generally legal in Chicago to own and carry in public.

Legal standing on carrying folding knives
  • Open Carry is perfectly legal, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.
  • Conceal Carry is perfectly legal, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.
Illegal status

Blades longer than 3 inches in length cannot be carried on public properties as they would be considered a dangerous weapon in that instance. Though, any folding blade knife under 3 inches can be carried anywhere without any apprehension.

3 - Automatic knives (switchblades)

Automatic knives are the quickest knives that obey the master in no time. These are rapid-deployment knives that always deliver when called upon.

The anatomy of folding knives

Usually functioning by two main mechanisms, slide-switch or button release, these blades eject and can be put into action in no time. The blades are hidden within the casing and once free either eject from the front of the handle (also known as OTF, out-the-front knives), or from the bottom of the handle similar to folding knives. 

720 ILCS 5/24-1, the UUW law provides,

 “Switchblade knives and ballistic knives are forbidden. Possession of a valid Firearms Owners Identification Act (FOID) card, is an exception to the “switchblade” restrictions in this statute. Given long-standing and widely recognized principles of statutory interpretation, FOID card holders may possess and carry automatic knives, nobody may possess or carry a ballistic knife, and all other knives are un-restricted absent unlawful intent”

Legal consequences of breaching the law

The UUW contains,

 “location-based restrictions through penalty enhancement provisions. Possession of a switchblade, or possession with unlawful intent of a dagger, dirk, stiletto, etc., in a non-specified location, is a Class A Misdemeanor, with a maximum punishment of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Sub-section (c)(2) of the UUW provides for a Class 4 Felony penalty”

Restricted venues

According to the law,

A person who violates subsection 24-1(a)(1), 24-1(a)(2), or 24-1(a)(3) in any school, regardless of the time of day or the time of year, in residential property owned, operated or managed by a public housing agency or leased by a public housing agency as part of a scattered site or mixed-income development, in a public park, in a courthouse, on the real property comprising any school, regardless of the time of day or the time of year, on residential property owned, operated or managed by a public housing agency or leased by a public housing agency as part of a scattered site or mixed-income development, on the real property comprising any public park, on the real property comprising any courthouse, in any conveyance owned, leased or contracted by a school to transport students to or from school or a school related activity, in any conveyance owned, leased, or contracted by a public transportation agency, or on any public way within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising any school, public park, courthouse, public transportation facility, or residential property owned, operated, or managed by a public housing agency or leased by a public housing agency as part of a scattered site or mixed-income development commits a Class 4 felony.”

Legal consequences of breaching the law

Under the law,

“The penalty for a Class 4 Felony is a term of imprisonment for at least 1 year, but not more than 3 years, and a fine of up to $25,000.”

The QUICK FACTS to keep you in safe hands from the LAW while roaming in Chicago

  • All ballistic knives are prohibited from possession in Chicago
  • Schools are ‘weapon-free zones’
  • Blades longer than 3 inches are illegal on public properties
  • Throwing stars are illegal to own in the state

Chicago’s knife laws are fairly painless and pretty straightforward, and far away from confusion and it is relatively easy to abide by them. It is pertinent to note that you should keep yourself away from any public setting with an open or concealed carry knife. It could land you in serious trouble as the law is strict and does not show any flexibility when it comes to knife handling in restricted venues.

Final thoughts

The piece of information is a brief and comprehensive understanding of Chicago’s laws regarding knives. We are not a legal advice provider but rather to show the legal standing of knives within the geographical boundaries of the state, a mere negligence can put you behind the bars.

So, comprehend the legal framework of Chicago, and have a little idea of illegal and legal knives before involving in a knife fare. And always respect the law to avoid inconvenience.

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