Amid the continued debate over hunting and guns in America, the Pennsylvania House voted this week to firm up some some pro hunting measures.
A bill known as House Bill 263, authored by Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), was passed this week by the Pennsylvania legislature to approve the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting use. The bill also legalized the use of gas and air powered rifles for hunting game.
Having been passed by the house, the bill has now been forwarded to Governor Tom Wolfe for finalization. It is unclear whether or not the governor will sign the measure. According to reports in the media, his press secretary has said that the governor is reviewing it at this time.
Even if the measure is signed, it is important to remember that this bill only gives the PA State Game Commission the ability to approve these types of weapons for hunting. According to YDR, a spokesman for the commission said, "You're unlikely to see the day when semi-automatic rifles are allowed to hunt big game in Pennsylvania, but they may be allowed for small game such as squirrel and groundhogs."
Is this something that hunters should be excited about? Absolutely. Anytime we see legislation being passed that is in favor of our hunting rights, we need to be encouraged.
This is also a great year for all sportsmen to remember that it is important that we stay vigilant and informed about what is going on in our legislative bodies across the country. What happens in one state can effect all others in a ripple effect.