This morning, with only a few hours left of the 2016 legislative session, House Bill 263 passed the House of Representatives with a 160-25 vote. HB 263 will now go to Governor Tom Wolf for final consideration. Please click the “Take Action” button below to contact Governor Wolf and urge him to sign House 263 into law.
House Bill 263, as amended, would eliminate the prohibition on semi-automatic rifles for hunting and allow for the Pennsylvania Game Commission to regulate these sporting rifles for all game species in accordance with season and bag limits. The use of semi-automatic shotguns for hunting has been legal for decades in the Keystone state; however, the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting is prohibited in Pennsylvania as well as the neighboring state of Delaware. Semi-automatic rifles simply give hunters a much greater ability to fire a timely and accurate follow-up shot, which can be the huge difference between wounding or quickly taking a game animal. Another downside to manually operated firearms compared to a semi-automatic rifle, is the felt recoil. Larger calibers, including the popular 30-06 and larger, generate significant recoil that average shooters may not handle well. Gas-operated semi-automatics have less recoil, making them more user-friendly.
As most other states have discovered, allowing hunters to use semi-automatic rifles is nothing more than expanding firearm selection for the hunter afield. Ending the prohibition on semi-automatic rifle hunting would provide Pennsylvania hunters the same opportunities and options enjoyed by hunters in 48 states.
Again, please click the “Take Action” button above to politely urge Governor Tom Wolf to sign HB 263 into law! Also, if your state Representative voted in favor of HB 263, please take the time to thank them for supporting your hunting heritage.