Municipal Code of Chicago

Are Expandable Batons Legal In Chicago, Illinois? (2015 Update)

On January 19, I started reviewing Chicago-area laws concerning self-defense tools for the new year. That day, I blogged about the legality of pepper spray in Chicago.

Today, I’m going to look at if collapsible/expandable/retractable/telescopic batons are legal in Chicago, Illinois.

Like with that pepper spray post, let’s start at the top. Looking at the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Criminal Offenses, (720 ILCS 5/) Criminal Code of 2012, “ARTICLE 24. DEADLY WEAPONS”:

(720 ILCS 5/24-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 24-1)
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…

No specific mention of collapsible/expandable/retractable/telescopic batons. But there’s also this:

13) Carries or possesses on or about his or her person while in a building occupied by a unit of government, a billy club, other weapon of like character, or other instrument of like character intended for use as a weapon. For the purposes of this Section, “billy club” means a short stick or club commonly carried by police officers which is either telescopic or constructed of a solid piece of wood or other man-made material.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

From my research on this subject, I’ve encountered instances where collapsible/expandable/retractable/telescopic batons have also been referred to as “billy clubs” (like above) and “bludgeoning devices.” Keep that in mind going forward.

Since Chicago is part of Cook County, let’s next look at the Cook County Code of Ordinances, Part I- GENERAL ORDINANCES, Chapter 58- OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS, ARTICLE VI. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PUBLIC PEACE, Sec. 58-172. – Disorderly Conduct:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to commit disorderly conduct. A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly…
(6) Carries in a threatening or menacing manner, without authority of law, any razor, knife, stiletto, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, slingshot, any knife, the blade of which is released by a spring mechanism, including knives known as “switch-blades”, undetectable knives as defined in Section 58-176 of this Code, an object containing noxious or deleterious liquid, gas or substance or other weapon, or conceals said weapon on or about the person or vehicle…

Once again, no specific mention of collapsible/expandable/retractable/telescopic batons. But “bludgeon” makes an appearance.

Finally, let’s see what the City of Chicago has on the books regarding these batons. From the Municipal Code of Chicago, TITLE 8 OFFENSES AFFECTING PUBLIC PEACE, MORALS AND WELFARE, CHAPTER 8-24 FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS, 8-24-020 Sale or possession of deadly weapons:

(a) No person shall sell, offer for sale, keep, possess, purchase, loan or give to any person any bludgeon, blackjack, slung shot, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles, or other knuckle weapon regardless of its composition, throwing star, switchblade knife or ballistic knife; provided that this subsection shall not apply to the purchase, possession or carrying of a black- jack or slung shot by a peace officer.

Nothing specific. But there’s “bludgeon” again.

So are collapsible/expandable/retractable/telescopic batons legal in Chicago?

While not mentioned specifically in the Illinois Criminal Code, the Cook County Code of Ordinances, and the Municipal Code of Chicago, should the authorities want to prosecute an individual purchasing, possessing, selling, etcetera a collapsible/expandable/retractable/telescopic baton in the city of Chicago, it should surprise no one if the device is equated with a “billy club” or “bludgeon.” In which case, that individual could be in a lot of trouble.

Next time, I’ll be discussing knives in Chicago.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 Legal, Non-Lethal Weapons, Self-Defense 7 Comments

Is Pepper Spray Legal In Chicago, Illinois? (2015 Update)

Last Wednesday, I blogged that I’d begin reviewing Chicago-area laws concerning self-defense tools starting this week.

Even though Survival And Prosperity addressed the subject of pepper spray or OC spray (from “oleoresin capsicum”) some time back, here’s a question I still keep hearing asked:

“Is pepper spray legal in Chicago, Illinois?”

To find out, let’s start at the top- meaning the State of Illinois. Looking at the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Criminal Offenses, (720 ILCS 5/) Criminal Code of 2012, “ARTICLE 24. DEADLY WEAPONS”:

(720 ILCS 5/24-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 24-1)
Sec. 24-1. Unlawful Use of Weapons.
(a) A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:
(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

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Pepper (OC) spray appears legal to own and carry in the state of Illinois- so long as the individual carrying it is “18 years of age or older.”

Now let’s turn to Cook County. Here’s something I was just made aware of recently. From the Cook County Code of Ordinances, Part I- GENERAL ORDINANCES, Chapter 58- OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS, ARTICLE VI. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PUBLIC PEACE, Sec. 58-172. – Disorderly Conduct:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to commit disorderly conduct. A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:
(6) Carries in a threatening or menacing manner, without authority of law, any razor, knife, stiletto, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, slingshot, any knife, the blade of which is released by a spring mechanism, including knives known as “switch-blades”, undetectable knives as defined in Section 58-176 of this Code, an object containing noxious or deleterious liquid, gas or substance or other weapon, or conceals said weapon on or about the person or vehicle

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Pepper (OC) spray appears legal to own and carry in Cook County, Illinois- so long as the individual carrying it is “18 years of age or older” (per the State of Illinois), does not carry it “in a threatening or menacing manner,” or “conceals said weapon on or about the person or vehicle.”

That last bit about concealing about the person or vehicle is bound to raise some eyebrows, I’m guessing.

Mace Pepper Foam

Finally, here’s what the City of Chicago has on the books regarding pepper (OC) spray. From the Municipal Code of Chicago, TITLE 8 OFFENSES AFFECTING PUBLIC PEACE, MORALS AND WELFARE, CHAPTER 8-24 FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS, 8-24-020 Sale or possession of deadly weapons:

(e) No person shall carry 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; provided that this subsection shall not apply to any person listed in section 5/24-2(a)(1)-(14) of the Criminal Code, 720 ILCS 5/24-2(a).

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

There’s also this under 8-24-045 Noxious gas or liquid:

(a) No person shall use any device to discharge a noxious gas or liquid in an enclosed room in any Class C-1 or Class C-2 Assembly Unit, as defined in Chapter 13-56 of this Code, or in an enclosed room in any restaurant, bar or tavern that is a Class F Assembly Unit as defined in that chapter, if more than 20 persons are present in that room, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined in Section 8-20-010 of this Code, engaged in law enforcement activity. As used in this section, “noxious gas or liquid” means mace, pepper spray or any other substance that is intended or designed to cause irritation to the eyes, nose or mouth, or to cause nausea.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So Is pepper spray legal in Chicago, Illinois?

Pepper (OC) spray appears legal to own and carry– so long as the individual carrying it:

• Is “18 years of age or older” (per the State of Illinois)
• Does not carry it “in a threatening or menacing manner” or “conceals said weapon on or about the person or vehicle” (per Cook County)
• Shall not use “any device to discharge a noxious gas or liquid in an enclosed room in any Class C-1 or Class C-2 Assembly Unit, as defined in Chapter 13-56 of this Code, or in an enclosed room in any restaurant, bar or tavern that is a Class F Assembly Unit as defined in that chapter, if more than 20 persons are present in that room” (per the City of Chicago)

Next time, I’ll be looking at expandable/collapsible/retractable batons and their legality in Chicago.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

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What Are The Knife Laws In Chicago, Illinois?

On October 30, I blogged about the legality of pepper spray in Chicago, Illinois.

On November 5, I discussed the legality of expanding batons in the “Windy City.”

Tonight, I’m going to talk about knife laws in Chicago- especially in regards to possessing and carrying them.

On September 11, 2013, the Chicago City Council passed Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015, which amended the part of the Municipal Code of Chicago that deals with knives.

Title 8, Chapter 24, formerly “Carrying dangerous weapons,” has been revised as follows:

8-24-020 Sale or possession of deadly weapons.

1. No person shall sell, offer for sale, keep, possess, purchase, loan or give to any person any bludgeon, blackjack, slung shot, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles^ or other knuckle weapon regardless of its composition, throwing star, switchblade knife or ballistic knife; provided that this subsection shall not apply to the purchase, possession or carrying of a black-jack or slung shot by a peace officer.

2. No person shall sell, offer for sale, loan or give to any person 18 years of age or under any type or kind of knife with a blade which is two inches in length or longer.

3. No person 18 years of age or under shall carry,, ©f ^ possess, or conceal on or about his person, any knife, the blade of which is two inches in length or longer.

4. No person shall carry or possess with intent to use unlawfully against another or carry in a threatening or menacing manner, without authority of law, a dagger, dlfk, billy, dangerous knife, razor, broken bottle or other piece or glass, stun gun, taser, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of like character…

(f) No person shall carry concealed on or about his person a ef dagger, any knife with a blade ef which is more than two and one-half inches in length, or other dangerous weapon. Provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to the following officers while engaged in the discharge of their official duties; sheriffs, peace officers, and corrections officers; nor to the following employees or agents while engaged in the discharge of the duties of their employment: conductors, baggagemen, messengers, drivers, watchmen, special agents and policemen employed by railroads or express companies; nor to persons lawfully summoned by an officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace, while so engaged in assisting such officer.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis; “dlfk”= dirk?)

So basically, no switchblades or ballistic knifes for Chicagoans. 18 and under- no possession or carrying of knives with blades 2 inches in length or longer. Over 18- no concealed-carry of daggers or knives with blades more than 2.5 inches in length.

You can read Title 8, Chapter 24, here and Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015 here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

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Thursday, November 21st, 2013 Government, Knives, Legal, Self-Defense No Comments

Updated: Chicago Laws Concerning Self-Defense Tools

Phew! It took me a couple of hours this morning, but I just completed updating a number of posts and an entry on this blog’s “Resources” page related to Chicago laws concerning self-defense tools (firearms, knives, pepper spray, etcetera). When I wrote that material, the resource I used- the Municipal Code of Chicago as displayed on the American Legal Publishing Corporation website- did not reflect changes enacted by the City of Chicago on September 11, 2013, in Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015. However, the revisions have now been addressed in the following posts:

Chicago-Area Laws Concerning Self-Defense Tools
Is Pepper Spray Legal In Chicago, Illinois?
Are Expandable Batons Legal In Chicago, Illinois?

Be advised that the City of Chicago did quite a bit of revising.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

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Are Expandable Batons Legal In Chicago, Illinois?

Last Wednesday, I blogged about whether or not pepper spray is legal in Chicago, Illinois.

This morning, I’m looking into the legality of expandable batons.

Here’s what the Municipal Code of Chicago has to say about the matter. From Title 8, Chapter 24, “FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS,” as amended by Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015 on September 11, 2013:

8-24-020 Sale or possession of deadly weapons.

1. No person shall sell, offer for sale, keep, possess, purchase, loan or give to any person any bludgeon, blackjack, slung shot, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles^ or other knuckle weapon regardless of its composition, throwing star, switchblade knife or ballistic knife; provided that this subsection shall not apply to the purchase, possession or carrying of a black-jack or slung shot by a peace officer…

4. No person shall carry or possess with intent to use unlawfully against another or carry in a threatening or menacing manner, without authority of law, a dagger, dlfk, billy, dangerous knife, razor, broken bottle or other piece or glass, stun gun, taser, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of like character.

So are expandable batons legal in Chicago? While the Municipal Code makes no specific mention of the term “expandable baton,” that’s not to say some prosecutor pushing that “intent to use unlawfully against another” bit will try to equate such a device to a “bludgeon” or “billy.” My research turned up instances in which an expandable baton was referred to as a “bludgeoning device.”

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 Government, Legal, Security, Self-Defense No Comments

Is Pepper Spray Legal In Chicago, Illinois?

(Editor’s note: The information below has been updated, and can be found here)

Kind of quiet today as it concerns local material for Survival And Prosperity.

Good.

That let’s me get away from commenting on the news a bit to focus on other topics.

Here’s one I’ve been wanting to blog about for a while now:

Is pepper spray legal in Chicago, Illinois?

You see, for some reason or another, people keep posting on various Internet sites that pepper spray- or Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray as law enforcement/corrections commonly call it- is illegal in the city of Chicago.

Case in point, from Yahoo! Answers:

I live in Chicago and pepper spray and tasers are both illegal in Illinois.

Then there’s this on Yelp:

FYI: Pepper Spray is illegal in the City of Chicago.

Even on websites where one might think an informed answer can be found on this issue is it being unintentionally disseminated that pepper spray is illegal. From INGunOwners.com:

I coulda sworn there’s a recent law that banned the use of tasers and pepper sprays in Chicago.

Referring back to an August 16, 2013, post I wrote about Chicago-area laws concerning self-defense tools, here’s what the Municipal Code of Chicago has to say about the matter. From Title 8, Chapter 24, “FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS”:

8-24-045 Noxious gas or liquid.

(a) No person shall use any device to discharge a noxious gas or liquid in an enclosed room in any Class C-1 or Class C-2 Assembly Unit, as defined in Chapter 13-56 of this Code, or in an enclosed room in any restaurant, bar or tavern that is a Class F Assembly Unit as defined in that chapter, if more than 20 persons are present in that room, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined in Section 8-20-010 of this Code, engaged in law enforcement activity. As used in this section, “noxious gas or liquid” means mace, pepper spray or any other substance that is intended or designed to cause irritation to the eyes, nose or mouth, or to cause nausea.
(b) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine $500.00, or 30 days imprisonment, or both, for each offense.

(Added Coun. J. 4-9-03, p. 106979, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 159)

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

And then there’s this, which was added on September 11, 2013, by the City of Chicago when it passed Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015. 8-24-20 was amended with:

5. No person shall carry 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; provided that this subsection shall not apply to any person listed in section 5/24-2(a)(1H14) of the Criminal Code. 720 ILCS 5/24-2(a).

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Back on November 27, 2011, the Chicago Tribune even ran a piece on pepper spray. Dawn Rhodes pointed out:

Major retailers such as Ace Hardware and Sears sell pepper spray products (commonly known by brand names such as Mace), as do a number of online-only stores. But pepper spray regulations vary. In Chicago, for instance, a person can be charged with a misdemeanor for spraying it in an enclosed space, such as a bar or restaurant, if there are more than 20 people present.

So is pepper (OC) spray legal in Chicago? From what the material above says, I would think it is, as long as the spray is used in self-defense and in compliance with what’s stated in the Municipal Code of Chicago, and not in a threatening manner.

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Rhodes, Dawn. “Pepper spray a hot topic of late.” Chicago Tribune. 27 Nov. 2011. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-27/news/ct-talk-pepper-spray-1127-20111127_1_pepper-spray-hot-peppers-uc-davis-campus-police). 30 Oct. 2013.

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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 Government, Legal, Self-Defense 7 Comments

Chicago-Area Laws Concerning Self-Defense Tools

(UPDATE: Revised to reflect City of Chicago’s passage of Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015 on September 11, 2013, regarding personal safety tools)

From my research, I’ve noticed that quite a few Chicago-area residents wanting to find out more about the legality of their personal safety tools in their communities, county, and the state of Illinois often have a difficult time locating that information on the Internet easily.

Which is a shame, considering the amount of changes that have been made recently to state and local laws concerning firearms and other self-defense tools. For example, not only is concealed-carry now on the books at the state-level, but the City of Chicago and Cook County have tightened their gun “control” measures and there are a number of new “assault weapon” bans in effect in several metro-area communities.

So, in my “local” post for the day I thought I’d share with Chicagoland readers some links on the Internet where a bunch of this info can be found.

In my opinion, I’d approach general queries from the state level down to the municipal level. No use trying to find out if something is legal in your community if the state bans it and they supersede local laws in a particular area.

State of Illinois

Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/24-1)- Firearms, Chemicals, Electric
Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/33A-1)- Knives
Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/33F-1)- Body Armor
Public Act 98-63, Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66)- CCW

Cook County

Cook County Ordinance No. 07-O-36, Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban- Firearms
No info found on knives, body armor

DuPage County

No info found

Kane County

No info found

Lake County

No info found

McHenry County

No info found

Will County

No info found

City of Chicago

Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 8, Chapter 20- Firearms, amended 9/11/13 by SO2013-6015
Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 4, Chapter 144- Ammunition, amended 9/11/13 by SO2013-6015
Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 8, Chapter 24- Knives, Chemicals, Electric, Amended 9/11/13 by SO2013-6015

Chicago Suburbs

Query the municipality in question in a search engine with the name of the town and state plus “ordinances” and proceed from there. If you can’t find any local ordinances on the town’s website, there’s a good chance the municipality outsources their codification and public display. In which case, check the Illinois municipal client catalogs of the following codifying companies below:

American Legal Publishing Corporation
Municipal Code Corporation
Sterling Codifiers

Hope this comes in handy!

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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