Headed for Chicagoland. Suggestions?


November 20, 2012, 01:14 PM
What CAN I and what CAN'T I carry in the land of mobsters, crooked politicians and gun control advocates some people call Chicago? :banghead:

My son will be graduating from Navy Bootcamp. I am planning to attend the ceremony and will be driving up to the Naval Station Great Lakes, IL. This is just north of Chicago.

I'm thinking a small knife, flashlight and can of Mace should be okay? Am I wrong?

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Frank Ettin
November 20, 2012, 03:58 PM
If someone has some meaningful and useful advice for the OP, please feel free to offer it.

If anyone want to contribute wisecracks, cheap shots at Chicago, dumb suggestions, snark, or anything similar, feel free not to. From this point forward, I will feel to respond harshly to any such nonsense.

November 20, 2012, 06:31 PM
On Post, for graduation, I'd say you can carry none of the above. Well, maybe the flashlight.

November 20, 2012, 06:37 PM
Chicago doesn't allow carry of OC sprays, I know that much.
Last time I went to Wrigley I carried a couple knives, nobody bugged me about it, but then nobody really took time to look.

November 20, 2012, 06:49 PM
DISCLAIMER: I ALWAYS CARRY A KNIFE. As for Chicago, I've been there several times, done that. Chicago is not that bad. I walked from the 47th street train through Southtown about a mile at midnight for about a month straight. Not once did I need any protection. Don't fear it and don't believe all the hype you hear about the town. Ya, you can't carry, but there are plenty of other options. A light and knife will hopefully be enough. The academy is around "the Burbs." You should be just fine. BTW, take time to visit the city. It's really a beautiful place.....coming from a Kansan. Best of luck to ya.

Owen Sparks
November 20, 2012, 08:02 PM
A heavy "walking stick" is legal everywhere and makes a formidible weapon.

November 21, 2012, 07:04 AM
Chemical weapons appear to be legal in Illinois, including the city of Chicago. However, the following applies within the city:

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 8-20-30* 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.

So, in a self-defense situation, you must not be in one of those prohibited establishments (or, if you are, do a head count before discharging your weapon to be sure the total count is below twenty.)

November 21, 2012, 10:31 AM
I always carried a pocket knife when I lived there.
Pretty much everything is illegal to carry in Chicago, but its not really that dangerous if you stay out of the nastier areas, and really, you will have no need at all to go into the nastier areas.
I only had one attempted mugging and I stopped it with a very legal, steaming hot cup of coffee in the face. :)

charlie fox
November 21, 2012, 11:08 AM
Having been to Chicago a time or two I can state with a fair amount of confidence that it is no more dangerous than any other big city; every place has areas in which people don't go at certain times, so don't go there! Don't carry anything that would focus the attention of the police on you and act like a normal sane person and you'll have no worries.

I carried a Spyderco Endura but NOT clipped outside my pocket. I also carried a SAK Recruit for everyday cutting chores - no one gave me a second look. I also carried a Mini Maglite as it has many uses.

Owen Sparks
November 21, 2012, 03:18 PM
I generally prefer a stick to a knife when I have too go into a city because of the reach advantage as well as being non-lethal as long as you stay off the head and neck. There have been many threads about sticks and canes on the non-firearm weapons forum.

November 21, 2012, 03:36 PM
MedWheeler, I could be misinformed. I got that info off a pepperspray website a while back, so it wasn't the actual code pertaining to sprays. Good to know.

November 21, 2012, 06:14 PM
Fox Labs or Sabre Pepper spray when in chicago city limits.

January 11, 2013, 09:58 AM
I survived my trip to that far off exotic land of Chicago. The traffic was horrible, but the drivers were nice--if that makes any sense. I didn't have any trouble. I left the 1911 at home, but still took steps to protect my family in case trouble came looking for us. Would I go back? Not unless you paid me a LOT of money.

January 11, 2013, 10:22 AM
I'm thinking a small knife
I have not seen this mentioned yet, but Chicago does have a limit of 2.5 inches for pocket knives. The state limit is 3.0 inches.

I used to work in downtown Chicago and never felt unsafe in any of the common tourist or retail areas of the city. There are places you probably don't want to go but there's nothing you want to see there, anyway.

Frank Ettin
January 11, 2013, 02:17 PM
Glad the OP returned home safely and had nothing untoward happen on his trip. So there now seems no reason to keep this open.

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