Good news for sportsmen across Illinois. The State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources legal division has put out of directive that IDNR police should not take action on prohibited firearms and magazines used for hunting on public lands.
IDNR Conservation Police Officer Trent Reeves spoke in Decatur on Wednesday and he mentioned this new plot twist. Today, he said he couldn’t forward the directive to us, but he did provide a FAQ page from the IDNR website.
So, according to Reeves and the IDNR website, you can use your AR with standard cap magazines to hunt coyotes, shotguns with long magazines for hunting geese and similar stuff.
Don’t take CPO Reeves’ word for it. Here it is from the IDNR website:
14. How does the Protect Illinois Communities Act affect hunting in Illinois?
The Protect Illinois Communities Act banning assault weapons creates an exemption for possession of weapons used for hunting as permitted by the Wildlife Code. To determine whether it is legal to bring a weapon onto public lands to hunt, you must be in full compliance with the Wildlife Code and administrative rules for the hunting activity that you are engaged in. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is working with the Illinois State Police to put together a list of weapons permitted to be used under the Wildlife Code. Under the Protect Illinois Communities Act, this list must be finished by Oct. 1, 2023. Even though the list is not completed at this time, it is important to emphasize that the exemption from the assault weapons law is tied to the Wildlife Code and that code has not been changed by this Act. If it was legal under the Wildlife Code to use a specific type of weapon last year to hunt snow geese or turkeys, for example, then it is currently legal to use that weapon this year.