Centerfire shotgun hunting not legal until January 2023

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that centerfire shotguns are not legal until January 1, 2023.

The IDNR posted on its Facebook page on August 24 that it had received questions about the new law expanding permitted firearms.

“IDNR has received numerous inquiries regarding a new state law that allows deer hunting with a centerfire and single-shot rifle,” the post reads. “The law does not come into effect until January 1, 2023 and the administrative rules are still being worked on, but the FAQ page at the link below may help answer some questions.”

House Bill 4386, became law as Public Law 102-0932 after being approved by both houses on April 6, 2022 and approved by Governor JB Pritzker on May 27, 2022, effectively allows the use of single-shot centerfire rifle hunting during applicable firearm deer seasons.

The act expanded laws previously allowing certain handguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders to include centerfire rifles that fit the following description:

Single-shot rifles that use a .30 caliber or larger bottleneck centerfire cartridge with a case length no longer than one and two-fifths inches, OR. a .30 caliber or larger straight wall centerfire cartridge.

According to the guidelines, the list of approved cartridges is long but includes cartridges such as the .300 AAC Blackout and Whisper, 45-70, and .450 Bushmaster.

To answer many common questions surrounding the change, the IDNR has a Frequently Asked Questions page on its website.

For more information on cartridges permitted in 2023 under the new law, visit the IDNR website and search for the list of single-shot rifles