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Old June 18, 2010, 01:11 PM   #1
Webleymkv
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Help with Illinois Knife Laws

Moderators, as far as I can tell this topic is within the rules and placed in the proper forum. However, if I'm mistaken please feel free to close, delete, or move this thread as you feel necessary.

OK, I'm going to be traveling to Illinois to visit family in a couple of weeks. Obviously, I cannot legally carry a handgun in IL, at least not in any manner in which it would be useful, so I began to think about carrying a knive instead. I always carry a Kershaw Tanto Blur assisted opener which is, as far as I can tell, perfectly legal in IL. I would like, however, to carry my Cold Stell Counter-Tac II if legal to do so. The knife I'm referring to is a double-edged fixed blade with a blade slightly longer than 3".

Now, as far as I can tell, my Cold Steel would be considered a "dangerous weapon" according to IL law. However, as I read the law, carrying of a "dangerous weapon" is only illegal if I carry it with "intent to harm another in an unlawful way" which is a category that self-defense would not seem to fall under.

My question is, can anyone with more knowledge of IL knife law offer any guidance? I don't want to carry my Cold Steel if doing so is likely to get me arrested, even if the charges would not stick. In that case, it's just not worth the hassle to me and I'll just stick with my Kershaw.
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Old June 18, 2010, 07:35 PM   #2
NukemJim
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Where are you going in Ill?
In most of the state 4" is the legal maximum with no switchblades allowed.
Chicago has it's own rules 2.5" is legal maximum.
Have not heard of any other cities having their own knife laws but as always I am not a lawyer and as always could be wrong.

Good luck

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Old June 18, 2010, 09:52 PM   #3
Webleymkv
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I'm going to the central part of the state, Champaign-Urbana area
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Old June 21, 2010, 08:38 PM   #4
NukemJim
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Been away for a few days, sorry was not trying to ignore you.

Downstate they tend to be MUCH more reasonable about gun/knife possesion IMHO. With Champaign-Urbana being home to UofI they may have some unusual laws but I have never heard of any.

I am not a lawyer and as always I could be wrong

Best wishes and good luck.

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Old June 22, 2010, 06:51 AM   #5
Kreyzhorse
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If I'm not mistaken, www.handgunlaw.us has information on state knife laws. Might be a helpful link for you.
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Old June 23, 2010, 02:20 AM   #6
THORN74
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webly: there are 2 crieteria governing knives/edged weapons in the state of IL. While there may be more restrictive municipal laws in place (chicago, etc...) the following is the state law:


Quote:
720 ILCS 5/Art. 24 heading)
ARTICLE 24. DEADLY WEAPONS


(720 ILCS 5/24‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 24‑1)
(Text of Section from P.A. 96‑41)
Sec. 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 bludgeon, black‑jack, slung‑shot, sand‑club, sand‑bag, metal knuckles or other knuckle weapon regardless of its composition, throwing star, or 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; or

(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, stun gun or taser or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character; or


(3) Carries on or about his person or in any
vehicle, a tear gas gun projector or bomb or any object containing noxious liquid gas or substance, other than an object containing a non‑lethal noxious liquid gas or substance designed solely for personal defense carried by a person 18 years of age or older; or

(4) Carries or possesses in any vehicle or concealed
on or about his person except when on his land or in his own abode or fixed place of business any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or other firearm, except that this subsection (a) (4) does not apply to or affect transportation of weapons that meet one of the following conditions:
sections 1 and 2 are of course the most important. please note there is no mention of size/lenght. if u wanted to u could walk down main street with a 2 handed broadsword strapped to ur back, and you would not have broken the law.
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Old June 27, 2010, 02:12 PM   #7
Webleymkv
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THORN74, you are technically correct as far as I can tell. The key to IL law, as I read it, is "intent". The thing that worries me is how vaugley "intent" could be interpreted. I'm really not particularly worried about Champaign-Urbana itself as I am about some of the smaller towns nearby such as Monticello, Tuscola, Atwood, and Bement. Some of these smaller towns have some, shall we say, overly zealous police officers (this comes from firsthand experience as I grew up in that area) and I can see them wanting to hassle someone driving a car with out-of-state plates. My line of thinking is that it would be easier to establish "intent" with a fixed-blade, double-edged fighting knife such as my Cold Steel than it would with a single-edged, general purpose folder like my Kershaw.

Honestly, I don't really think any charges stemming from me carrying my Cold Steel would be likely to stick given how vauge "intent" is, but the hassle that would be involved just isn't worth it to me when it could be so easily avoided.
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Last edited by Webleymkv; June 27, 2010 at 03:35 PM.
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