Believe it or not, Pennsylvania is in the minority when it comes to using semiautomatic rifles, including weaponry like an AR-15, for hunting. Pennsylvania and Delaware are the only two states in the country that prohibit the use of semiautomatic rifles. That may soon change with the passing of three bills – House Bill 2333, House Bill 2230 and Senate Bill 1402. Through the dedicated efforts of Republican state lawmakers, including Rep. Rick Saccone of Allegheny County, Rep. Greg Lucas of Crawford County and Sen. Scott Hutchinson of Butler County, Pennsylvania hunters should start polishing and preparing their semiautomatics.
Like with all bills, there is a lot of fine print. Like House Bill 2333, for instance, would legalize semiautomatics, but the guns must be limited to 10 rounds. 2230, on the other hand, would legalize those guns, but for the purpose of hunting coyotes, foxes and woodchucks. Oh, and those guns must be no bigger than .223 and magazines limited to six rounds or less. Last, but not least, is the Senate Bill. While this one, like House Bill 2230, would legalize semiautomatics to hunt coyotes and woodchucks. Unlike the House Bill, however, the Senate Bill makes no mention of caliber or magazine capacity. It does specify though that such weaponry would be prohibited if different hunting seasons overlap.
Why the clamor for the legalization of semiautomatics? Well for starters, it is about time. 48 other states prohibit it and hunters in Pennsylvania deserve some other options. In addition, Pennsylvania lawmakers argue that more liberal-minded states like New York and California prohibit the use of semiautomatics, why isn’t Pennsylvania?
At Tioga Boar Hunting, we support these bills. Not only would the legalization of semiautomatics be a boom for the Pennsylvania economy, the passing of any one of the bills will give hunters greater freedom. What do you think