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Old 01-24-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default New gun owner in Illinois has questions

I recently was given a colt handgun by my dad
And I want to get comfortable with shooting, loading and handling it.
There are no public gun ranges within a 60 mile radius of me.
Can I just go out to the country, away from all people and property, set up some targets and shoot as long as I have a FOID card and have my gun registered?
Hunters shoot by railroad tracks, why can't I?



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Old 01-24-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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NO! Absolutley NOT! I would highly recommend you make that 60 mile drive and take a beginners class. Guns are a whole lot of fun but there are some specific rules of safety that MUST be followed. I don't want you to hurt yourself or anyone else. And you can't just go shooting anywhere that seems 'out in the middle of nowhere'. You don't know if there are livestock or people a ways out in the field, etc.

Please make the effort to get some good instruction. That will be the foundation of your shooting and if you don't have a good, strong foundation, the rest will not follow. Do you have a FOID card and how old are you? And what do you mean by "I have my gun registered"? I live in Illinois and I have a FOID card but we do not have to register our guns. Wait, do you live in Cook County?



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Old 01-24-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STG79 View Post
I recently was given a colt handgun by my dad
And I want to get comfortable with shooting, loading and handling it.
There are no public gun ranges within a 60 mile radius of me.
Can I just go out to the country, away from all people and property, set up some targets and shoot as long as I have a FOID card and have my gun registered?
Hunters shoot by railroad tracks, why can't I?
Railroad tracks are private property. If the RR Detectives or local police catch you on the property, they can and will arrest you. Hunting on RR property is illegal in Illinois. It states so on the IDNR web page.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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I only shoot outdoors, first time included, but you've got to understand some basic rules and guidelines to follow so nobody gets hurt.

As long as you're not a moron is simple stuff. Never point the gun at something you're not willing to shoot. Always handle every gun as if it's loaded. That kind of stuff... Also, when shooting outdoors, always make sure you have a solid backstop. I shoot into berms, rock quarries, and dirty mounds/Hill sides. If you have a jam leave it pointed down range, drop the mag, lock the slide back and clear it safely.

Personally I refuse to go to ranges. Hate them with a passion, but around here there are none with those individual lanes with targets you wheel out to a specified distance and shoot at will. I have to deal with line marshals who dictate when I can shoot, when I have to stop, how to put the gun down and always want to tell you to shoot like they do.

As far as where you can, I haven't a clue. Illinois is different than Oregon. Look up state law or talk to local LEO.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Even if you go out to the country to shoot, you are still on someone's private property. If you have permission from the property owner, then shoot away. If you do not have permission, then shoot at your own risk.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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AS the post above me says if you are shooting "out on the country" then you will need permission of the property owner. If there si a local shooters forum for people in your area or near you they might have some advice where you can go to get some trigger time in.

Being you are a new shooter I strongly advise you do not head out alone no matter where you shoot. It's always best to have someone around that knows what to and not to do. You can't unshoot a firearm so once that bullet flies you are responsible where it lands. A safety course is a great idea. But at the very least if you have someone that knows their way around a gun try to get them to go with you.

Like BeyondTheBox I"m not the biggest fan of crowded ranges. It's no the rules thing that bothers me it's the crowd. I'm no tone that likes feeling crowded and it seems every time I go to one I end up next to asshat that whips out his bryco and starts getting all gangster with it or worse, he dreaded mall ninja that has to put on his SWAT gear to shoot his Glocks and tacticool bullpup 10/22. But for a new shooter a range that has a range officer or instructor that might help you get started in the right direction. One of the worst things a new shooter an do is g out alone. Now only is the you might get hurt or hurt someone else deal but you can acquire bad habits that take forever to undo later. Range instructors might seem a bit rigid at first but they only have your best interest at heart. They want you to shoot well and in a safe manner.

As to how to take care of your new friend there are vids all over the net that can help with cleaning and maintenance.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
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Unless your at some state owned hunting land or pit dumps or walk in hunting area you would be on private property. Not all areas in the country is private property. You just need to call your local wildlife and parks they will be the best bet to find out where in your area to go and what you need to do.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:44 PM   #8
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Check this map out. http://rangelistings.com/state.php?state=IL

Also, I strongly suggest that you get a little training.
This helps not only in safety procedures, but also with the proper shooting technique and firearm handling procedures.

Too many people do dangerous things when trying to learn how to handle a firearm on their own.

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #9
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Ok. It wasn't the best idea.

I took a gun safety course about 15 years ago; it may be time for a refresher.

What about private property? I don't see the problem shooting outside the city limits on private property.

The closest gun range is in St Joseph, IL. I believe it is a members only range.
Where are some public ranges, and what do you need to bring to shoot ( FOID, Drivers license, etc.)? Any ideas of the costs, can you bring your own ammo?

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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Sorry, I didn't see your link.

Thanks



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