It was brought to my attention that hunters in Illinois MAY use gun banned by the Protect Illinois Communities Act on public lands.  There is a narrow carve-out for hunters and sportsmen to legally use these guns while engaged in hunting.

KSDK has the lowdown

Illinois hunting isn’t affected by the state’s assault weapon restrictions. Here’s what the law says

ILLINOIS, USA — Hunters across Illinois will soon enjoy their first-ever rifle deer hunting season.

Starting Friday and running through Sunday, hunters will be able to use single-shot centerfire rifles. Firearm hunting seasons were previously restricted to muzzleloaders, shotguns and handguns, and Illinois officials anticipate the new season will open the practice up to many more hunters.

Recent statewide firearm restrictions, however, have brought into question exactly which guns hunters can use. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA) earlier this year, and after a federal appeals court recently upheld the law, it mandates restrictions on how assault weapons and other firearms can be sold and possessed in the state.

The new restrictions have some hunters asking not only if they’ll be able to use single-shot centerfire rifles this year, but also if they’ll still be able to use the shotguns and handguns they’ve used in previous seasons.

Our VERIFY team dug into the new restrictions to find the answer.

No, Illinois hunters aren’t banned from using assault weapons as long as they are approved under the state’s Wildlife Code.

What we found

Under PICA, hunters are permitted to use firearms classified by the law as “assault weapons” while hunting, as long as the guns are authorized under the Illinois Wildlife Code and have the appropriate licenses and permits usually required for hunting.

And after January 1, are “registered” with the Illinois State Police.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources also specifies what firearms and ammunition are allowed in Illinois during deer and turkey hunting.

Any Illinois resident who owns a firearm considered an “assault weapon” under the restrictions must register it with the state by submitting an endorsement affidavit through their Firearm Owner’s Identification Card account by Jan. 1, 2024.

However, PICA has an exemption for the hunting season. Hunters cannot be compelled to show proof of an endorsement affidavit while they are actively hunting or when they are traveling to and from hunting. The law says:

“[The endorsement affidavit] section does not apply to or affect any of the following: … Possession of a weapon only for hunting use expressly permitted under the Wildlife Code, or while traveling to or from a location authorized for this hunting use under the Wildlife Code if the weapon is broken down in a nonfunctioning state, is not immediately accessible, or is unloaded and enclosed in a firearm case, carrying box, shipping box, or other similar portable container designed for the safe transportation of firearms.”


4 thoughts on “GOOD NEWS: Banned guns *may be used* while hunting in IL”
  1. ILL-Annoy firearms owners need to disavow any and all references to “assault rifles” and any firearm politicians brand “assault” by referring to them as defense tools/weapons to try to erase the stigma politicians’ labels apply to firearms to transform inanimate objects into “evil” objects in the minds of uninformed citizens.
    None of my firearms have ever “assaulted” anyone and as long as I own them, I have the control over them to keep them from doing so. The criminals that use inanimate objects to “assault” other people are the “assaulters” and not the inanimate object.

    1. Amen to that, Kevin, however you would be obliged to use your defense tool/weapon/firearm if he is attacking you with an assault firearm/baseball bat/knife, or whatever and we need to shove this common sense language into the minds of those who do not fathom reality.

  2. Trust the government. The legislature says one thing, the DNR another, while the ISP says something else. What could go wrong? Hunters need attorneys on retainer too…..
    I would not want to be the test case. Lots of little tyrants out here with arrest powers. Your papers !!!!!

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