Two bills are up for possible law changes that would allow Pennsylvania hunters the use of semi-automatic firearms.
Pennsylvania is currently the only state in the United States that bans the use of semi-automatic firearms for taking game. Under two new bills submitted to the Pennsylvania Game and Fisheries Committee, this could change.
One bill, submitted by Rep. Rick Saccone, would allow the use of certain caliber semi-automatics to be used for all forms of hunting. The other, submitted by Rep. Curtis Sonney, would only allow them to be used for hunting coyotes, foxes, and woodchucks.
At a hearing held Monday on the bills, Matt Hough, the Director of the Game and Fisheries Committee, warned Legislature not to expect any immediate action towards the use of the semi-automatics to hunt deer, bear, or other large game. He feels they will probably vote in the bill to allow them for use on coyotes and foxes.
Hough’s biggest worry was the perception of hunters in full camouflage carrying a “military-style” weapon into the woods, saying some landowners have threatened to post their property as private if the law changes.