Legal Knife Blade Length in Illinois? - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Legal Knife Blade Length in Illinois?

I was at the Tinley Park Fishing Show this morning and purchased a folding knife from a dealer. It has a nice belt clip and I'd like to carry it on my person while out fishing, riding my motorcycle, etc.
I asked the dealer what the legal length in Illinois was and he said that it was either 3.5 or 4 inches. My knife is 3.5 inches.
When I got home I called a cop buddy of mine and even he couldn't tell me. I found a state of Illinois law website and it defines any knife with a blade of at least 3 inches to be a "Category II" weapon and anybody in possesion of such is considered "Armed with a dangerous weapon".

Reference: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/do ... K33A-1.htm

Here is my knife: http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/ ... rrorView_N

So what's the deal? Say I'm out on my bike and get pulled over and the cop sees this knife on my belt. What happens then?

Also, the knife I have has a "spring assisted" blade which the dealer says is not considered a switchblade and is perfectly legal. Thoughts?

Thanks!
BT
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just noticed that the knife referenced above has a serated blade and says the blade is 3 inches. Mine does not have the serated part and the actual cutting edge is 3.5 inches.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I carry a spring assisted Tanto on me at all times with a 3.5" blade. If you get stopped, declare it if you are asked if you are carrying, and you should not have any issues. Cops usually say "nice blade" then give it back.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think there is a limit on the length of a blade, I have been pulled over and searched with a samurai sword in my trunk, the cops just laughed and asked why it was in my trunk, I said I was bringing it home, and that was that. If there was a legal limit for the length of a blade, what about the various tools different people use, they transport them everyday. Hopefully someone on here is a police officer, or lawyer who knows the actual law, because I don't think many average people know it, and it would be interesting to find out exactly where we stand.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdog40
I have been pulled over and searched with a samurai sword in my trunk,


You're fillet knife??
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdog40
I have been pulled over and searched with a samurai sword in my trunk,


You're fillet knife??
Barramundi is a bloody big fish
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdog40
I don't think there is a limit on the length of a blade, I have been pulled over and searched with a samurai sword in my trunk
There's a big difference between a sword in your trunk and a knife on my belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdog40
Hopefully someone on here is a police officer, or lawyer who knows the actual law, because I don't think many average people know it, and it would be interesting to find out exactly where we stand.
Exactly. I hate to say this but I'd rather hear from a lawyer than a cop. I did a search on the web and found all sorts of answers. 3 inches, 3.5 inches, 5 inches and one even claimed that there is no length limit and even switchblades are legal. It's funny because most of the people posting these answers claimed they were police officers. One P.O. even said that ANY blade is illegal unless you are carrying it for your job.

BT
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The law will vary from state to state. In IL there is no limit on blade length. You could walk down Michigan Avenue with a samuri sword if you so choose. The issue is that switch blades are illegal. Spring assisted by the letter of the law are ok. We had this come up at the academy a few weeks ago and this was straight from the instructors mouth, who is a former county prosecutor.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's a matter of concealment or plain view... Belt knives should be fine... If you carry a K-Bar, you'll probably get to know a few law enforcement officers....
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Isn't legal to a cop just what length is legal to shoot you as a threat?

I never got into knives as a carry item.
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