Illinois Knife Laws

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Knife laws in Illinois are a bit more complicated than they seem to be at first glance. These laws may vary from county to county and from state to state.

The basic rule is that you need a permit if you want to carry a knife with a blade that is longer than 3 inches in the public. You must have it either open or concealed all the time.

Restrictions on Carrying a Knife in Illinois

Carrying knives is prohibited by law if they’re concealed on one’s person. They can be carried in a car or other means of transportation, but not concealed on one’s person.

The law prohibits people from carrying a knife with a blade more than three inches long and certain other dangerous objects such as handguns, brass knuckles, and blackjacks (a club or weapon with spikes on one or both ends).

A person can be found guilty of this offense if he/she carries any weapon on his/her person or within arm’s reach. The violation is considered a Class A misdemeanor if it is committed by someone under 21 years old and it does not involve an injury to another person.

A person cannot carry a knife in public areas such as schools, government buildings, and public transportation. The only exceptions are if the person has a valid hunting license or trapping license.

Any person who knowingly possesses, sells, or offers for sale any knife having a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife is violating this law.

Types of Knives Legal in Illinois

The blade of the knife can be either long, short, curved, straight, serrated, single edged or double edged. Some knives have only one edge. In others the blade widens from the handle to the tip in what is called a spear point style blade.

Knives that cannot be considered “dangerous” include:

– A completely folding pocketknife that is less than 3 inches from its point of origin when fully unfolded and locked into position

– A single-bladed knife with no point (i.e., a butter knife)

But what about antique knives? If they’re not used for an unlawful purpose and don’t have a blade that is longer than 3 inches, then they don’t need a permit either.

In Illinois it is illegal to carry around knives that are considered illegal weapons such as switchblades or stiletto blades that are not extended in full length when in public, except in certain specific cases that are described by law.

There are types of knives that are illegal under this law. They include: ballistic knives, belt buckle knives, cane swords, lipstick cases which have concealed blades or daggers hidden within them, metal knuckles with blades on them (known as kung fu stars), push daggers (also known as TEC), throwing stars (also known as shuriken) and any knife where the blade can be opened by pushing on the handle with one hand.


It is illegal for any person to knowingly possess, manufacture, transfer, or sell any switchblade knife, ballistic knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger other than a wrist dagger, cane sword, sword cane, shobi-zue stick or an air rifle that is capable of discharging a projectile.

Certain knives are not illegal to carry under the Illinois Knife Owners Protection Act. If you have been wrongly accused of carrying an illegal knife, contact an experienced IL knife lawyer to learn more about your rights and options.


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