Knife Laws In Illinois


Knife Laws in Illinois

There is no place in the US than the state of Illinois to enjoy the summery breeze with zeal and zest. It relishes you with the funky warm outdoor activities, getting immersed in the flora and fauna is the best feeling ever. Alongside 15 astounding lakes and 804 great hiking trails and prepped and equipped with the right kit give you the munch of adventurous thrill. And while preparing your outdoor survival kit, the most important gear is the “knife”. Apart from the legislation, the state of Illinois is free for using survival knives.

Self-protection gears are appreciated in Illinois

If you are intended to purchase a self-protection knife, then you should check the state’s rules and regulations first, to stay legally safe and secure. A handy knife is the best outdoor companion and can be used to perform multiple tasks from cutting ropes, and shredding tinder to peeling and dicing fruits and veggies, alongside it can also save you from an uncanny situation. Nevertheless, going through the legality status of your favorite knife in the state’s law is always a practical approach.

The types of knives generally serve around

Here are the knife types we find commonly in our outdoor and indoor environment, and the segregation is based on the blade type

• Fixed Blade

Knives that are fixed from handle to blade; the entire channel is static and its one-piece construction makes it durable. Fixed blade knives are generally carried in a sheath.

• Folding Blade

Folding blade knives are unbolted by the flick of the thumb, the blade sets, and locks in the designed place when fully extended. Folding blade knives are mostly small in size that’s why they are the best pocket knives.

• Automatic Blade

The anatomy of the Automatic Blade is instinctive. The blade ejects by gliding the switch or pressing the button release.

Let’s find out what is legal and illegal with regards to owning and carrying knives in Illinois.

Laws for fixed blade knives

Fixed blade knives are also called sheath knives, as they are kept in the protective casing to keep them safe and shining. As they have no moving parts, a fixed blade knife is more robust than any other knife. The maximum blade length that comes in the fixed blade knife is 13”. They are the perfect tool for ranchers and hunters that urge more bang for their buck in the backcountry.

Fixed blade knives are generally permissible under Illinois knife laws. Nevertheless, subject to the following legal limitations:

Legal to own and carry fixed blade knives in Illinois if :

  • Open Carry is impeccably legal, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.
  • Conceal Carry is impeccably legal, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.

Illegal :

  • Blades longer than 3 inches in length are legally banned to carry on public properties as they look dangerous and can be used as a deadly weapon to harm others.

Laws for folding blade knives

Folding blade knives are utilitarian tools and can accomplish many tasks on the kitchen counter and in the woods as well. It contains simplified moving parts that make these knives everyday carry pocket tools. It is versatile and can be handled, opened, and closed with one hand. A multipurpose tool is resilient and manageable.

Folding blade knives are generally legal to own and carry in public in Illinois with the following restrictions:

Legal to own and carry folding blade knives in Illinois if:

  • Open Carry is effortlessly permissible, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.
  • Conceal Carry is perfectly allowed, given that the blade is no longer than 3 inches in length.

Illegal :

  • Blades longer than 3 inches in length cannot be carried on public properties as the concealed tool can be kept to hurt someone.

Laws for Automatic Knives (Switchblades)

Automatic knives are rapid-deployment knives and obey orders instinctively for the master. The instruction is obeyed in a quick reflex manner. The anatomy is based on the push button that releases the blade in no time. The blades are obscured within the exterior and once unhindered either eject from the front of the handle or the bottom of the handle similar to folding knives. 

Automatic knives are illegal in Illinois unless you carry a lawful FOID (firearms owners identification card)

Illinois knife legislation is straightforward, and the government has no issues with you as far as you respect the law. The short answer is, that a legal knife accompanied by good intentions is permissible under knife laws in Illinois.

US Knife Law in Illinois

According to the Public Act 100-0082 of Illinois,

“Citizens of Illinois can carry knives and switchblades on their person only for self-defense purposes.”

However, the state’s law further explains,

You are not allowed to purchase a knife if you are less than 21 years. After getting the permissible age, you need to obtain a valid and updated Illinois Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card. FOID cards take about 30 days to process and cost no more than a couple of dollars. The ID is then valid for ten years before it needs to be reissued.” 

Section 21-4 states

 “You can only manufacture and sell any sharp object (including knives) after receiving explicit permission from Illinois’s chief security officer. However, the distribution of throwing stars and automatic knives are strictly prohibited even after state permission, as per section 8-24-020.”

The knife laws are substantially fair and easy to follow in Illinois. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to consult your attorney about the updated law before getting involved in a knife fare.

Legal Knives in Illinois

Other than the switchblade, several other knives are legal to use in Illinois. This includes the following :

• Machetes

Machetes are a type of hefty long-bladed knife largely used for chopping, clearing, cleaning trails, underbrush, and vegetation. Machetes are multipurpose tools and are also widely used for agricultural purposes. For instance, cutting sugarcanes, opening coconut shells, chopping dung, and cutting and mincing meat. Machetes are extremely sharp tools and can be used for criminal delinquency if land in the wrong hands. So, to legally own a machete in Illinois, you’ll need to have an ID proof of your profession registered first. The document is obligatory to have a machete, as it gives answers to the question of why you need it. 

• Pocket Knives

The law in Illinois put switchblades and balisongs under the pocket knives category. Moreover, pocket knives are also called

  • Folding knives
  • Jackknives
  • Penknives

And are legal to carry in Illinois. As the name implies, pocket knives are multitasker tools and are legal to carry for self-defense purposes.

• Disguised Knives

Disguised knives are undetectable tools and are legal to carry in Illinois. This includes types of hidden knives such as

  • Lipstick knives
  • Key knives
  • Canned swords
  • Dagger necklaces
  • Neck knives

The use of dirks, daggers, and stilettos in Illinois for self-defense is permissible under knife laws. As these tools are treacherous, can be very dangerous if wielded wrongly.

• Bowie Knives

Bowie knives were primarily used for fighting in ancient times but now are used for hunting, skinning, and butchering games. A bowie knife is a promising rescue knife and can be used for self-defense purposes. It is outlawed in several states of the US. However, it is legal to use Bowie knives in Illinois.

Illegal Knives in Illinois

The Illinois Knife Law states,

“Knives above three inches are strictly prohibited as they fall under the Unauthorized Possession or Storage of Weapons act (720 ILCS 5/21-6). Class A misdemeanor may be filed if caught in possession of knives above three inches. This includes swords, black-jack knives, and ballistic knives. Only those with special chief security permission may handle knives above three inches.”

Here are several other illegal knives in the state as stated in Section 24-1 of Illinois Knife Law:

• Throwing Stars

Throwing stars are extremely sharped stars that are dangerous to own and use. If these ridiculously sharp stars are thrown on anyone, it can be fatal. Moreover, they are also known as ninja stars or Shirukens, which are small, sharply pointed, star-like knives often depicted in modern movies and tales as ninja weapons. The law in Illinois does not allow to import, sell, give, or possess throwing stars. Moreover, the holder can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony if found guilty.

• Brass Knuckles

Brass knuckles are used and shown in modern movies and are known as fist-load weapons. Moreover, brass knuckles are metal-shaped rings crafted to attack and hurt. They come fit around four of your knuckles. These are illegal to use in Illinois.

Places You Aren’t Legally Allowed to Carry Knives

According to code 720 ILCS 5/24-1 and Section 24-1 of the Illinois Knife Law, it’s illegal to carry knives in the following locations :

  • Courthouses
  • School buses
  • In and out of school premises
  • Public transportations
  • Public housings
  • Government buildings (banks, post offices, judiciary boards, etc.)

Violating such regulations is indictable by law.

The exception to the rule

You can only carry knives in the aforementioned locations if you have been granted permission by one of Illinois’s peace officers.

Penalties for Breaking Illinois Knife Laws

The law rules,

“You can’t legally buy or carry a knife if you’re under 21 years old. If caught with a knife under 21, you may be given a penalty of at least $500. Minors under 18 can’t be fined under the Illinois statute 105 ILCS 5/10 22.6. Instead, the penalty will be given to his or her parents.”

Sec. 24-1 of the Unlawful Use of Weapons act states,

“Carrying or possessing a weapon with harmful intent, whether illegal or not, is punishable by the Illinois state law. Penalties differ from a couple of thousand dollars to several years of imprisonment. Selling, manufacturing, purchasing, or possessing any of the listed knives above may be fined and imprisoned for up to five years. When caught manufacturing, purchasing, or possessing knives over three inches, users will have a fine of up to $15,000. Carrying a legal knife in the listed locations above is considered Class A Misdemeanor. Class A Misdemeanor has a maximum punishment of 364 days in prison and/or a fine of $75 to up to $2,500.”

Quick-sheet to keep you in safe hands from the LAW

  • All ballistic knives are illegal to possess
  • Schools are ‘weapon-free zones’
  • Blades longer than 3 inches are banned on public properties.
  • Throwing stars are illegal to own

Illinois knife laws are neither stringent nor lenient, they are a bunch of rules levied by the state to keep its geographical territory violence-free. The law enforcement authorities urge to keep peace and harmony in the state and want people safe in homes and public as well. The legal framework regarding knives is designed to curb knife-related crimes. It is suggested to avoid an unnecessary knife display in public; it can land you in serious trouble. Being a responsible citizen, migrant, or a tourist, you should abide by the rules and legislation imposed by the state. You should confine to the knives that are allowed in limits of self-defense in Illinois.

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