Legalization of Switchblades in Illinois Awaits Governor’s Signature

joliet criminal attorney knife

The long-standing ban on spring-assisted or switchblade knives could soon come to an end should a new bill recently passed by the Illinois state legislature be signed by Governor Bruce Rauner. Currently, in Illinois, any person who knowingly makes, sells, possesses, or uses a switchblade knife is subject to a charge of unlawful use of weapons.

The ban on switchblades was enacted more than 40 years ago. While the use of a one-handed knife can be convenient for some laborers, the item was categorized alongside weapons such as brass knuckles, throwing stars, and a ballistic knife. Even the mere possession of these items is considered a violation of the law.

Potential Outcomes of the New Law

A change in state statute that would result in the legalization of switchblade knives was initiated when one Illinois legislator met with a constituent who wanted to manufacture a new style of spring-assisted knives but could not do so in Illinois because of the existing statute. The new law sent to the Governor provides for the following:

• The ban on manufacturing, owning, possessing or using a switchblade or spring-assisted knife would end.
• To own or possess a switchblade knife, one must first apply for and receive a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) from the state.
• The use of a switchblade in a crime or possession of a switchblade in areas or buildings that prohibit switchblades can still lead to an arrest.

A variety of benefits to lifting the ban on single-hand operated knives in Illinois include, but are not limited to:

• Cutting seatbelts or restrictive clothing quickly and efficiently by first responders in emergency situations.
• Job creation through new manufacturing opportunities of spring-assisted knives.
• Opportunity for efficiencies among storage, packing, and shipping operations a well as other industries in which employees use a knife to expedite their duties.

At the present time, the law still prohibits possession and use of switchblade knives, and law enforcement officials may continue enforcing the ban until the governor signs the new bill. It would be best to refrain from owning, possessing, or using a switchblade to avoid facing charges of unlawful use of a weapon.

Seek the Counsel of an Experienced Joliet Weapons Attorney

When faced with criminal charges, make finding knowledgeable and experienced representation your first priority. Rely on a Will County weapons violation lawyer who knows the laws and will prepare your case with meticulous care. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba uses a wealth of experience to ready a defense aimed at protecting your rights.