Illinois

Illinois Knife Laws

Gun laws in Illinois are mostly straight to the point. Here is a look at what they entail.

Illinois Knife Laws Quick Look:

Preemption? No

Concealed carry? Yes

Open carry? Yes.

Schools? No.

Off-limits places:

  • School buildings, activities, assembly, and environment.
  • School bus.
  • Courthouses and courtrooms.
  • Public transportation.
  • Public houses.
  • Subways.
  • Parks.

Length & critical dimensions: Illinois knife laws prohibit the possession of knives with a blade length of 3 inches or more on state public properties for people that do not have security clearance.

Legal Types of Knives in Illinois

Knives that are legal according to Illinois law include the following:

  • Balisong Knives.
  • Lipstick Knives.
  • Belt Knives
  • Cane Knives
  • Bowie Knives

Illegal Types of Knives in Illinois

Knife laws in Illinois prohibit the use of some knives hence they are illegal in the state. However, there are some knives that are not entirely prohibited, but restricted, and they will be legal for people that have licenses or permits to possess and use them.

Knives that are completely illegal in Illinois are ballistic and throwing stars. Knives that require permits and licenses to use legally are Switchblades and automatic knives.

Illinois Knife Ownership Law

Illinois statutes allow the ownership of only legal knives in the state. It is a prohibition to own illegal knives. Also, only those with the state’s necessary license should be allowed to possess restricted knives like switchblades.

Illinois Knife Carry Laws

The possession of a knife and how you carry the knife are very important in Illinois.

Illinois Knife Open Carry Laws

Illinois allows the open carry of legal knives that have blade lengths of 3 inches and shorter. It is also fine to open carry knives with blade lengths more than 3 inches as long as there is no intent to injure or harm someone with it.

Illinois Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed carry of legal knives with blades no more than 3 inches are allowed in Illinois. However, knives with blade lengths more than 3 inches are illegal in the state.

Illinois Laws for Different Types of Knives

Illinois defines various types of knives in the state and the laws governing each one of them. They include the following:

Illinois Automatic and Switchblade Knife Laws

Illinois knife statute refers to switchblade knives as any type of knife that automatically opens when pressure is applied to its button feature, or if there is a spring or a similar mechanism in the knife’s handle.

Illinois Assisted Opening Knife Laws

Illinois does not follow the federal government legislature for the determination or recognition of assisted opening knives. The state law definition of automatic knives with the words "automatically opening due to pressure applied on a button feature" is not completely inaccurate for assisted opening knives.

Illinois Knife Law by Size

Legal knives that are allowed to be openly carried in Illinois must not have a blade length of more than 3 inches. Illinois legislation defines blade length estimation as the distance from a knife’s hilt to the tip of a blade.

Relevant Illinois Knife Law Statutes & Penal Codes

Some of the relevant knife law statutes and penal codes, concerning legal and illegal knives, ownership, possession, carry and use of knives include the following:

  • 720 ILCS 5/24-1 (2013) Unlawful Use of Weapons
  • 720 ILCS 5/33A-1 (2013) Legislative intent and definitions
  • 720 ILCS 5/24-1 (2013) Unlawful Use of Weapons
  • 720 ILCS 5/21-6 (2013) Unauthorized Possession or Storage of Weapons
  • 20 ILCS 5/21-6 – Unauthorized Possession or Storage of Weapons
  • 430 ILCS 65/0.01 – Firearm Owners Identification Card Act
  • Part I, Article 2, Illinois State Constitution
  • 720 ILCS 5/33A-1 – Automatics and Ballistic Knives
  • 720 ILCS 5/33A-3 – Sentencing provisions for various offenses committed with weapons.

Illinois Knife Offenses, Defenses, Restrictions & Penalties

They include the following:

Exceptions for Law Enforcement and Military

Illinois is unlike most states in exempting law enforcement officers, military members, or other state employees from firearm or knife laws. Some facts about the state exception for law enforcement officers include the following:

  • There are no exceptions for law enforcement officers or military members concerning the use of switchblades and ballasting knives in the state.
  • There are no exceptions for law enforcement officers or military members concerning the possession of daggers or any knife for unlawful reasons.
  • There are exceptions for law enforcement officers and security personnel in a school concerning the possession of knives on school grounds.
  • Illinois does not provide any form of exception for members of the military in the state.

Restrictions

Illinois knife laws restrict the possession of knives in some areas. Some of this include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in buildings and properties with parking areas.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in schools. and this includes public and primary, elementary, universities, colleges, and other buildings meant for children.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in stadiums, including buildings attached, parking lots, and every other premise of the stadium or any building used for a sporting event.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in offices of government officers, including those from the legislative arm of the state government.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in hospitals, medical homes, and buildings used for mental health facilities.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in prisons, jails, and buildings meant for juvenile correction
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in vehicles used for public transportation.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in restaurants and bars that more than half of their sales are alcoholic beverages.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in buildings and facilities used for gaming purposes.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in airports of the state.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in public places like parks, museums, and zoos.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in privately owned property that has well-inscribed signage prohibiting the usage of weapons within the surrounding.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives within the premises of a court.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in buildings that are owned by local, state, and the federal government.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in rallies and gatherings for special occasions that are open to the general public.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any other place that is restricted by the federal government.

Penalties for Offenses

  • Most violations of knife laws in Illinois and unlawful intent for the use of knives are classified as Class A misdemeanors. The penalty for this offense is up to 12 months imprisonment and a payable fine of about $2,500.
  • For violations that have to do with the sales, transfer, or gifting knives with a blade length of 2 inches or more to minors, the penalty is up to 6 months imprisonment and a payable fine of about $200.
  • The possession of knives on school properties or courthouses is a class 4 felony in Illinois. The penalty for this violation is a jail term of 1 to 3 years imprisonment and a payable fine of about $25,000.

Illinois Knife Law FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Illinois gun laws include the following:

  • How Long Can a Knife Be in Illinois?’

Knives can be of any length in Illinois as long as it is a legal knife. However, it is a prohibition to conceal carry knives with a blade length of more than 3 inches. Also, people under the age of 18 years old are not allowed to possess or carry knives with a blade length of 2 inches or more.

  • What types of knives are legal to carry in Illinois?

Illinois legalizes all types of knives in the state, except throwing stars and ballistic knives. Some knives are also restricted to only license owners in the state such as switchblades and throwing stars.

  • What types of knives are illegal to carry in Illinois?

It is illegal to carry throwing stars and ballistic knives. It is also illegal to carry switchblade and automatic knives without the required license.

  • What about legislative and/or constitutional issues?

Local ordinances are allowed for knife laws in various parts of the state. An example of this is Chicago.

  • Can I sell or transfer ownership of a knife in Illinois?

Illinois allows the sale and transfer of legal firearms in the state.

  • Is it Illegal to scare someone with (brandish) a knife in Illinois?

It is a prohibition to brandish a knife at someone in the state.

  • Can a minor carry a knife in Illinois?

Minors are only allowed to carry knives with a blade length of 2 inches or less.

  • Are swords legal in Illinois?

Illinois does not have any statute concerning the use of swords in the state.

  • Are switchblades legal in Illinois?

Switchblades are legal in Illinois for people with a firearm owner identification license.

  • Are folding knives legal in Illinois?

Folding knives are legal in Illinois.

  • Are fixed blade knives legal in Illinois?

Fixed blades are legal in Illinois.

  • Are butterfly knives legal in Illinois?

Butterfly knives are legal in Illinois.

  • Are automatic knives legal in Illinois?

Automatic knives are legal in Illinois for people with a firearm owner identification license.

  • Are ballistic spring-assisted knives legal in Illinois?

Ballistic knives are illegal in the state.

  • Are throwing knives legal in Illinois?

Throwing knives are Illegal in Illinois.

  • Are karambits Legal in Illinois?

Karambits knives are legal in Illinois.

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