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Knife laws in Illinois can be a bit confusing. There is a law for the unauthorized possession or storage of weapons, but there is also an unlawful use of weapon statute in place. Here is everything you need to know about knife laws in Illinois.
What knives are legal to own in Illinois?
Bali knives and other similar knives are legal in Illinois. The same goes for disguised knives, such as lipstick or belt knives. Throwing knives are legal. Unlike other states, Illinois allows the possession of bowie knives and other large alternatives. Carrying a valid FOID (Firearms Owners Identification) card will give you access to a few other knives – such as switchblades and other automatic options.
What knives are illegal to own in Illinois?
Throwing stars are illegal in Illinois, with or without a valid FOID card. The same goes for ballistic knives of any kind. While, in theory, switchblades and other automatic knives are illegal, the FOID will allow you to own such knives. Initially, Illinois was a permissive knife where most options were legal, but a recent law change banned the options mentioned earlier.
It is also illegal to carry a knife or blade longer than 3 inches in any building or on land supported in whole or in part with public funds, as any blade over 3 inches is considered a dangerous weapon.
What are the limits on carry?
Generally speaking, you can carry any knife as long as it is legal in Illinois. You can carry it in the open with no issues at all. The limits on carry target the purpose of the knife too. If you intend to cause a crime or hurt someone, carrying any knife is illegal.
Concealed carry is not an issue either. Make sure the knife you have is legal in the state, and you should have no problems whatsoever.
Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances
Schools are considered weapon-free zones. However, weapons include knives as well. Therefore, it is illegal to carry a knife on the property of a school, regardless of the purpose.
Restrictions on Sale or Transfer
It is illegal to manufacture or sell banned knives, such as ballistic knives or throwing stars. It is also unlawful to manufacture, sell or transfer a switchblade or another automatic knife unless you possess a valid FOID card.
Is there a statewide pre-emption?
There is not a statewide pre-emption in Illinois.
Major Cities in Illinois with Knife Ordinances
Chicago is the largest city in Illinois with a knife ordinance in place. Local laws in Chicago prevent the carry of knives with blades longer than 2.5 inches.
|City, State||Law Title/ Chapter/ Section||Concealed Carry Legal||Max Size Restriction||Short description from the law|
|Auburn, IL||18-47.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Beach Park, IL||9.08.040||No||concealed about his person any other dangerous or deadly weapon|
|Bourbonnais, IL||22-13.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Braidwood, IL||58-222.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Buffalo Grove, IL||9.28.010||No||Carries or possesses with intent to use unlawfully against another, a dangerous knife|
|Burbank, IL||9-21.||Yes||3"||a knife over three (3) inches in length or carried in a sheath;|
|Calumet City, IL||62-251.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Carol Stream, IL||42077||Yes||3"||Any knife having a fixed or locking blade which is three or more inches in length;|
|Carpentersville, IL||13-29||Any Knife on any School Property when Under 21 years of age|
|Centralia, IL||13-29||Any Knife on any School Property when Under 21 years of age|
|Chicago||8-24-020||Yes||2.5"||any knife with blade greater than two and a half inches is illegal,|
|Chicago Hts. IL||30-101. & 30-62.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Cicero, IL||62-191. & 62-6.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Cook Co. IL||46-62.||No||Contraband. .. Knife|
|Crete, IL||13-29||Any Knife on any School Property when Under 21 years of age|
|Davis Junction, IL||Sec. 30-31||possess, carry or use in any way in the park system any knives|
|DeKalb Co, IL||30-123.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Galesburg, IL||3-101.||No||knife or other deadly weapon within any licensed premises.|
|Jacksonville, IL||Sec. 18-15||Disorderly conduct. All persons who shall have or carry any pistol, knife|
|Loves Park, IL||54-240.||Yes||1.5"||Any person who shall within the city possess carry any knife, the blade of which is longer than 1 1/2 " in length,|
|McCook, IL||54-162. & 6-4.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Ottawa, IL||Sec. 62-202||Shall not carry about his person any concealed pistol, knife, razor, slingshot|
|Park City, IL||9.32.010||Yes||3"||Illegal to carry a knife with a blade of at least three inches in length|
|Peoria Co. IL||7.3-31.||No||No Knife in Court House.|
|Peoria, IL||20-188.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Pontiac, IL||16-30.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Roselle, IL||13-9.||No||No person shall carry concealed about his person a knife or other dangerous or deadly weapons|
|Round Lake Hgts, IL||38082||Yes||3"||Carries concealed in any vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person, knife with a blade in excess of three inches (3?)|
|Savoy, IL||12.28.190||No||shall possess, have, or carry any Hunting Knife|
|South Beloit, IL||Sec. 62-207||Yes||3"||Illegal to possess or carry any knife which has a blade longer than three inches in length;|
|Stickney, IL||54-10.||Yes||3"||bring, carry, have in his vehicle any knife having a blade longer than 3" in any park,|
|Vandalia, IL||9.24.010||Yes||3"||No person shall carry or wear under his or her clothes or concealed or knife in excess of three inches,|
|Wheeling, IL||8.18.010||Yes||3"||any type of knife, the blade of which is three inches in length or longer.|
There are no exceptions regarding legal or illegal knives in Illinois. The same rules apply to everyone, including members of the military.
Summary of Knife Laws in Illinois
Some knives are legal in Illinois, and some are not. Getting a valid FOID card will give you access to switchblades and automatic knives too. There are also limits on carry, but they mainly depend on the knife’s purpose. There are no critical dimensions to keep in mind when owning or carrying a knife in Illinois, except in public-funded places. However, many municipalities have their own laws on concealed carrying and blade size restrictions. Hence you will need to be a bit cautious moving across cities.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.