I admit I was not overly optimistic given Illinois’ well-deserved reputation as a hoplophobic nightmare. However, Governor Rauner has signed SB607 which legalizes automatic knives, effective immediately. This only applies to those with a Firearm Owner ID card, and without a state knife preemption law there is still a patchwork of local restrictions to contend with, but it is significant progress nonetheless.
From Knife Rights:
Knife Rights’ bill to mostly repeal Illinois’ switchblade ban, SB 607, was signed late on Friday by Governor Bruce Rauner. It was effectively immediately upon signing.
SB 607 allows possession of automatic knives by those who have a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card, which allows the individual to purchase firearms and ammunition. This is not a possession with CCW law, as some have suggested. The new law also allows for manufacture and sale of automatic knives by those not holding a FOID card.
It must be noted that this bill that was finally passed and signed into law started out last year as a full switchblade ban repeal. Then the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee insisted it be amended so a switchblade would only be legal with a Firearm Concealed Carry License (FCCL). Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, went to Illinois and was able to negotiate a compromise that allowed for possession and carry by holders of a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. To put this into perspective, in Illinois there are approximately 2.1 million FOID card holders vs. only 223,637 FCCL holders (Illinois was the last state to legalize concealed carry).WARNING: Without state knife law preemption, cities such as Chicago can still ban switchblades. No doubt others do as well and this patchwork of local bans is potentially waiting to trap unwary knife carriers.Congratulations to our sponsors, Sen. Tim Bivins and Rep. Brian Stewart. Together we are forging a Sharper Future™ for everyone in Illinois.
Illinois brings to 15 the number of states where bans on switchblades have been repealed since Knife Rights started its efforts in 2010! In total, Knife Rights has now passed 27 pro-knife bills repealing knife bans or restrictions in 20 states!