In the state of Illinois, the law governs the possession, sale, and carrying of knives with various stipulations concerning the type of knife, the intent of the person holding it, and the place where the knife is carried. These laws are designed to maintain public safety while also preserving individual rights to bear arms, including knives. Understanding these laws is crucial to avoiding any inadvertent violations.
Types of Knives
In Illinois, individuals are generally allowed to own and possess a wide variety of knives. These include but are not limited to:
- Pocket knives
- Hunting knives
- Utility knives
- Kitchen knives
- Collectible or ornamental knives
Certain types of knives are considered illegal to sell, possess, or carry, either openly or concealed. The banned categories include:
- Switchblades – knives with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other devices.
- Ballistic knives – knives with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring or other mechanism.
- Throwing stars – a weapon with blades or points designed for throwing.
Open carry refers to the visible possession of a knife in public spaces. In Illinois, open carry of most kinds of knives is generally legal unless used with an unlawful intent or carried into restricted locations. However, carrying dangerous or deadly knives openly with the intent to use them unlawfully against others is prohibited.
Concealed carry implies carrying a knife in a manner where it is not visible to the public. In Illinois, the concealed carry of a knife with a blade of 3 inches or longer can be considered a violation unless you have a valid reason (like a work requirement) for carrying such a knife.
There are locations in Illinois where carrying a knife, whether concealed or openly, is restricted. These include:
- Schools and educational institutions
- Government buildings
- Public transportation facilities
- Bars and establishments that derive more than 50% of their income from the sale of alcohol
Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions
Law enforcement officers and members of the military are typically exempt from many of the restrictions placed on the general public. They are allowed to carry weapons, including knives, that may be otherwise restricted to civilians, as a part of their official duties.
Consequences of Law Violation
Violation of knife laws in Illinois can result in various consequences depending on the severity of the violation. Penalties may include:
- Confiscation of the knife
- A criminal record, which might affect future employment prospects and civil rights
In Illinois, knife laws govern the types of knives individuals can legally own and carry, with certain restrictions on knife length and types. To ensure compliance with the law, individuals should be aware of the specific stipulations surrounding open and concealed carry, especially concerning restricted locations. Special provisions apply to law enforcement and military personnel. Violating these laws can result in significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) – Criminal Code: Article 24 – Deadly Weapons
Illinois State Police Website