HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state House of Representatives has voted to remove a ban on hunting with semi-automatic rifles.
House Bill 263, sent to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk for his signature on Thursday, also removes the ban on air- and gas-powered rifles.
The legislation doesn’t automatically allow the guns to be used for hunting, but it gives the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to regulate and allow their use during certain seasons or for certain animals.
Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) said his bill brings Pennsylvania in line with many other states that allow semi-automatic firearms as a hunting option.
Gabler said air- and gas-powered rifles – now with equal or greater muzzle energy and stopping power than numerous small-caliber guns that are allowed – are especially popular with young hunters and women in states that allow them.
He said the intent of his legislation is to bring new options to Pennsylvania hunters.