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Illinois Police Propose to Restrict Youth Hunting

October 7, 2007 by  
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Proposed regulation will keep youngsters out of the field

October 5, 2007 (National)

Law enforcement officials in Illinois have proposed regulations that will prohibit young people from partaking in hunting and other firearm-related activities.

The Illinois State Police (ISP) has submitted a proposal to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) that will prohibit anyone under 10 years of age from obtaining an Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). All Illinois residents who buy or possess firearms are required to have a valid FOID card. The proposal appears to be the department’s knee-jerk reaction to anti-hunting/anti-gun activists who responded with hysterics after reading a satirical article that made light of how easily a newborn could obtain a FOID.

The ISP’s proposal has drawn the ire of sportsmen. It denies parents of the right to decide when and how children get involved in hunting and shooting sports. If the age restriction is put in place, it will delay the entry of successive generations into the hunting heritage and lead to a decline in the sportsmen’s community.

“Research shows that in states with hunting age restrictions, the recruitment and retention ratio of new hunters is lower than in states that do not have such restrictions,” said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president. “At present, Illinois does not have a minimum hunting age, and we would like to see it stay that way.”

The JCAR is an administrative body responsible for reviewing and considering proposed regulations. Prior to considering proposed regulations, JCAR must observe a 45-day public comment period during which citizens may submit written comments.

USSA will submit official comments to JCAR early next week. Illinois sportsmen should keep an eye to your e-mail for an action alert.

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