Illinois Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English)

Illinois Knife Law is vague in many regards, but if you are a citizen of the state, then you have to follow all the regulations of the state for your safety

and the safety of others. According to Illinois Knife Law, you cannot own, sell, manufacture any illegal knife or blade in this state. Permission letters also don’t work for owning illegal knives.

State Knife Law in Illinois

Illinois (IL) is one of the well-known states covering the fifth-largest area of the United States. According to the revised Public Act 100-0082 of Illinois, Knife Law switchblade is allowed to carry, but the minimum age to carry knives and blade is 21 years.

As per Section 24-1, if you want to sell or manufacture knives or any sharp objects, then you have to take permission from the chief security officer of your locality where you are deciding to sell knives. According to 720 ILCS 5/24-1 Section 24-1, the unlawful use of weapons is restricted in Illinois. Even citizens of Illinois cannot manufacture ballistic knives, throwing stars, and automatic knives under section 8-24-020. Under Illinois statute 105 ILCS 5/10 22.6, if any minor under 18 years carry a knife, then his or her parents have to give the penalty of $600.  

Carrying Knife Law of Illinois

The Illinois Knife Law is somewhat open in comparison to the knife laws of other states. Some knives are banned from carrying in this state but you can carry the legal knives which are not banned. However, you cannot carry knives in publicly funded properties.

Concealing Knife Law of Illinois

Many states in the U.S are restricted from carrying knives or blades by hiding, but Illinois does not follow such rules. If you own a legal knife of the state, then you can carry it in the open and in a concealed way. If you are carrying a pocket knife that has a length of 3”, then you are allowed to do so.

Blade Length Rules in Illinois

According to the Illinois Knife Law, you can not carry a knife or blade which is above that 3”. It will fall under (720 ILCS 5/21-6) Unauthorized Possession or Storage of Weapons. This will also fall under Class A misdemeanor. You have to take the permission of a chief security officer to get permission for carrying knives larger than 3”. For violating this law, you will be imprisoned for five years, and the fine may be up to $15,000.

Types of Legal Knives in Illinois

Whether you are a citizen or a migrant to Illinois, you have to follow the knife laws of the state. Some knives are legal to use in Illinois as follows:

  1. Balisong – Balisong is specially used as a self-defense weapon. So, it is legal to carry Balisong Knife in Illinois.
  2. Disguised Knives – Lipstick knife, canned sword, penknife and other hidden knives are usually used for safety. These are legal to carry in Illinois.
  3. Bowie Knives – Bowie Knife is a hunting knife that is often used for hunting or skinning. It is also used in butchering games sometimes. Butchers use this knife in their profession for cutting meats and chefs use this knife for slashing meat and fish while cooking. This knife is allowed to be used in Illinois.
  4. Pocket/Folding Knives – Pocket or folding knives are like blades that can be carried in your pocket for cutting paper or fruits. Sometimes this knife is used for self-defense. Hence, it is allowed to carry in Illinois.  
  5. Swords – Swords are the weapons with a sharp and long blade often used for self-defense or the game like sword fighting. It is also a legal knife in Illinois. However, it is only used with the permission of the peace office in your state because of its length which is larger than 3”.
  6. Machete – Machete is a large and sharp weapon, but butchers often use it for cutting meats in the meat shop. They have ID proof of their profession which allows them carrying Machete in Illinois. 
  7. Dirks/Daggers/Stilettos –Dirk, Dagger, or Stilettos always sound dangerous but if you have the permission to carry these knives, then you can carry them.  

Types of Illegal Knives in Illinois

According to Illinois Knife Law, you cannot carry knives which have a length above 3”. After 2012, according to Section 24-1 of Illinois Knife Law, some knives are made illegal in Illinois such as:

  1. Throwing Stars – Throwing stars are a sharp and dangerous weapon that is used for various purposes, but criminals often use this blade for a malicious act. So, it is banned in Illinois.   
  2. Switchblades – The automatic knife or switchblade has push buttons to open the blade of the knife. This knife is illegal in Illinois. 
  3. Brass Knuckles – Knuckles are also similar to throwing stars that are used to throw and cut out things. These blades are often used for games. However, Illinois Knife Law restricts using this knife.
  4. Ballistic Knives – You will never get permission to use this long and sharp knife in Illinois because Ballistic Knife’s length cannot be less than 3”. 
  5. Black-Jack Knives – Black Jack Knife is not legal in Illinois because it is sharp and longer than 3”.    

Penalties for Carrying Illegal Knives in Illinois

According to 720 ILCS 5/24-1, using illegal knives in Illinois is an offense, and for violating the regulation of federal law, then you will fall under class 3 felony. You will be imprisoned for one year and you have to pay $10,000 for breaching the legislation.

Restricted Places to Carry Knives in Illinois

As per Illinois Knife Law, there are some places in this state where you are legally not allowed to carry knives. Neither you can carry knives openly, nor you can carry knives or blades by hiding. You are only allowed to carry knives with the permission of the peace officer of your community. There are some places where you cannot carry knives such as:

  • Courthouses –As per Illinois Knife Law, you are not allowed to carry knives or other weapons in courthouses.
  • Schools – According to Section 24-1 (a)(9) of Illinois Knife Law, you cannot carry any knife and blade to the premises of schools and other educational institutes.
  • School Buses – You are not allowed to carry knives in school buses because it is about the safety of the children. So, it is restricted to carry a knife in school buses.
  • Public Transportations – You cannot carry knives, blades, and any other weapon in public transports such as buses, trains, etc.
  • Government Buildings – In the government buildings like the bank, post offices, judiciary boards, party houses, etc., you cannot carry knives, blades and other weapons that can harm you.

Violating the regulations can be punishable under law. You would need to take written permission from the peace officer for carrying knives in the places mentioned above. For the violation, you can be imprisoned for six months with a fine of $700.

Bottom Line

Illinois Knife Law is made for the safety of the people in the state. It is the responsibility of every citizen to use arms for safety, but they need to follow the regulations for using blades or knives. However, the misuse of weapons will not be supported in this state, so these regulations are strictly made for migrants and citizens.