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Thread: Illinois knife law

  1. #1

    Illinois knife law


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    Is it legal to carry a lockback with a 3" blade in Illinois (outside of Chicago)?
    I am referring to pocket carry. I know that this is not OK for Chicago, but I am downstate.

  2. #2
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    I'm from Central Illinois and as far as I know the answer is yes. The way I understand Illinois law is that there is no actual blade length limit and a knife is determined to be legal or not based on intent. There may be some downstate cities with laws of there own so you had better check that. Here's what it says:

    Illinois Criminal Code 720 ILCS 5/24-1. Unlawful Use of
    Weapons. (a) A person commits the offense of unlawful use
    of weapons when he knowingly... (2) Carries or possesses
    with intent to use the same unlawfully against another, a
    dagger, dirk, billy, dangerous knife, razor, stiletto,
    broken bottle or other piece of glass... or any other
    dangerous or deadly weapon of like character...
    - 720 ILCS 5/33A-1... A person is considered armed with a
    dangerous weapon... when he carries on or about his person
    or is otherwise armed with a category I or category II
    weapon. (b) A category I weapon is a [firearm or] a knife
    with a blade at least 3 inches in length, dagger, dirk,
    switchblade knife, stiletto, or any other deadly or
    dangerous weapon of like character.
    - 720 ILCS 5/24-1. Unlawful Use of Weapons. (a) A person
    commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he
    knowingly: (1) Sells, manufactures, purchases, possesses
    or carries any... knife commonly referred to as a
    switchblade knife, which has a blade that opens
    automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring
    or other device in the handle of the knife, or a ballistic
    knife, which is a device that propels a knifelike blade as
    a projectile by means of a coil spring, elastic material,
    or compressed gas...
    - 720 ILCS 5/33A-1... A person is considered armed with a
    dangerous weapon... when he carries on or about his person
    or is otherwise armed with a category I or category II
    weapon. (b) A category I weapon is a [firearm or] a knife
    with a blade at least 3 inches in length, dagger, dirk,
    switchblade knife, stiletto, or any other deadly or
    dangerous weapon of like character.

    Illinois Case Law:
    - "Possession of hunting knife is not a crime; however,
    knowingly carrying or possessing dangerous weapon with
    intent to use same unlawfully against another constitutes
    offense..." (1982)
    - "Weapon not listed in statute can become "dangerous weapon"
    when it is used in a manner dangerous to well being of
    individual threatened, and knife with blade less than 3
    inches in length can be dangerous weapon if used in such
    manner." (1991)
    - "A straight-blade razor did not constitute a per se
    dangerous weapon, for purposes of armed violence
    charge..." (1987)
    - "Walking cane, even if not per se dangerous, was...
    transformed by defendant's usage into a dangerous weapon."
    (1977)


    http://www.knife-expert.com

    Tom

  3. #3
    Thanks. I take it that yes means that the knife is legal if not carried with "intent" to use as a weapon.
    This is very vague. I am also in central Illinois. Do you know which cities have prohibitions of their own?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by arty View Post
    Thanks. I take it that yes means that the knife is legal if not carried with "intent" to use as a weapon.
    This is very vague. I am also in central Illinois. Do you know which cities have prohibitions of their own?
    I'm not positive on which cities may have their own blade length laws, but it seems that I have heard that Peoria and Champaign/Urbana may. Again, check into it to be sure.

    Tom

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by arty View Post
    Is it legal to carry a lockback with a 3" blade in Illinois (outside of Chicago)?
    I am referring to pocket carry. I know that this is not OK for Chicago, but I am downstate.
    It's fine. And would be okay for Chicago, as long as you don't brandish it around.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the info. I thought that the limit in Chicago was a 2.5" blade max.

  7. #7
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    I live in the Peoria Illinois area and carry a Spyderco Endura 4 and have never had any problems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by arty View Post
    Thanks for the info. I thought that the limit in Chicago was a 2.5" blade max.
    Yes, if concealed.

    If worn, you fall under Illinois laws.

    Check out NJR's explanation here.

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