The Illinois State Police will open five of its firing ranges around the state on an "Open Range" day to provide members of the public with firearm instruction and education.

The state police will open ranges in Pawnee, Joliet, Macomb, LaSalle and Pittsfield to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 12. The day allows hunters to sight in and test-fire their shotguns in a safe environment for the upcoming deer hunting season.

"The Open Range program provides hunters with an opportunity to sight-in their shotguns before the upcoming hunting season," said Hiram Grau, director of the state police. "Safety is the number one priority during every hunting season, and the firearm experts from the State Police and Department of Natural Resources will be available to ensure the safe and appropriate use of shotguns."

The program is provided at no cost; however, members of the public who wish to attend one of the events must make a reservation. Targets will be provided. Participants must possess a valid Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card and transport the firearm legally by having it unloaded and enclosed in a case.

"The Open Range Program is a great way for hunters to be safely prepared for the upcoming seasons by honing their skills and making sure their firearms are in proper working order," said Marc Miller, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "Every hunting season the IDNR preaches a message of safety to our hunters so everyone can have fun and be successful in the field."

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