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What Self Defense Weapons Are Illegal in Illinois?

what self defense weapons are illegal in illinois

In Illinois, certain self-defense weapons are considered illegal due to their potential for harm and misuse. These include batons or other bludgeons, brass knuckles, and shuriken or other thrown blades[1]. Additionally, stun guns and tasers are illegal to buy or possess unless you have a Firearm Owners’ Identification (FOID) Card[4]. Other prohibited weapons include bludgeon, blackjack, slingshot, sandbag, sand club, metal knuckles, billy club, throwing star, nunchaku, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of similar type[6].

Background Information

The laws surrounding self-defense weapons in Illinois are complex and multifaceted. They are designed to balance the need for personal safety with the potential risk these weapons pose to the public. Understanding these laws is crucial for anyone considering carrying a self-defense weapon in the state.

Illinois Self-Defense Laws

In Illinois, the law prohibits the possession and use of certain dangerous weapons. This includes bludgeons, switchblade knives, ballistic knives, and stun guns or tasers[5]. The law also imposes restrictions on the use of certain weapons in specific situations. For instance, the discharge of noxious gas or liquid in an enclosed room with more than 20 people present is prohibited, except for law enforcement officers engaged in official duties[5].

Stun Guns and Tasers

Stun guns and tasers are considered effective self-defense tools. However, in Illinois, it’s illegal to buy or even possess a stun gun or taser unless you have a FOID Card[4]. This card is also required to own a real gun. The law was changed a few years ago, prior to which possession of stun guns and tasers were strictly prohibited under Illinois law[4].

Other Prohibited Weapons

Other weapons prohibited in Illinois include a knife with a blade of at least 3 inches in length (except an ordinary eating utensil), dagger, dirk, switchblade knife, stiletto, ax, hatchet, or other deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument of similar type[6]. BB guns, pellet guns, and paintball guns are also prohibited unless you have prior written approval from the Chief of Police[6].


While the law in Illinois allows for the use of certain self-defense weapons, it’s important to understand the restrictions and prohibitions in place. Violations of these laws can lead to serious consequences, including fines and imprisonment. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay informed and adhere to the laws when considering self-defense options in Illinois.


  1. Illinois Carry. (2021). What’s the Law on legal NON-Lethal self defense options in IL? Retrieved from https://illinoiscarry.com/forum/index.php
  2. Reddit. (2022). Self defense in illinois. What can I use? Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/illinois/comments/v9qy2f/self_defense_in_illinois_what_can_i_use/
  3. Illinois General Assembly. (n.d.). Unlawful use of weapons. Retrieved from https://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K24-1
  4. 97X. (2023). If You Want a Stun Gun in Illinois, You Need This First. Retrieved from https://97x.com/can-you-legally-own-a-stun-gun-in-illinois-laws/
  5. Anniering. (2023). What are legal self-defense weapons in Illinois? Retrieved from https://annieringaot.com/blogs/news/what-are-legal-self-defense-weapons-in-illinois
  6. Illinois State University. (2023). 5.1.1 Concealed Carry and Prohibited Weapons Policy. Retrieved from https://policy.illinoisstate.edu/health-safety/general/5-1-1/