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So I feel after the great "banding together" of sportsmen in support of the 2nd A we have a ball rolling. I know there will be a lot of mixed opinions on this topic but if everyone is in agreement that we should be able to own Modern Sporting Rifles its time the Commonwealth recognizes it is time we're allowed to use them to hunt with. I know there will be less support for MSRs to be used for deer hunting... but I think for small game and varmints the time has come for us to enter the 21st century. This is the letter I sent about a year ago to the PGC. They sent the response after that and then I got the following from a commissioner.

Do you guys share my sentiment or disagree? What should we do about it?




Dear PGC,

Has there been any discussion on the use of semi automatic firearms during future hunting seasons in PA? I feel that as the firearms industry has evolved many states have recognized the benefits to the hunter of having a quick follow up shot. I am mostly interested in the application of a semi automatic rifles during varmint (groundhog, fox, coyote) hunting, but feel they would be useful in all forms. Varmint hunting could be used as a trial with a limitation of firearms less than .30 caliber. Most states allow the use of modern firearms and I believe with the proper magazine restrictions that they could be a useful, ethical, and safe alternative to weapons currently permitted.

A stigma has been placed on modern semi automatic firearms by antigun lobbying organizations and the labeling of these rifles as “assault weapons” has made them out to be something they are not. Many Pennsylvanians resists the purchase of these firearms because there is currently no practical use in the PA woods. I think as the acceptance by wildlife enforcement agencies increases that the public opinion of these firearms would change for the better which is to the benefit of all parties involved in hunting and shooting sports including the PGC. Any increase in the usability of any firearm (allowing semi automatics for at least some types of hunting) will increase ownership of firearms which is to the benefit of the state of PA and the country. Acceptance as a legal means of harvesting an animal would be a victory against antigun and animal rights activists as is every expansion of hunting and firearm ownership.

Most firearms that are in use by PA sportsman today were born out of technology developed for military purposes. As semi-automatic weapon platforms emerged the adoption of new firearms into legal use by sportsman has stopped. Obviously the PGC has recognized the usefulness of semi automatic shotguns for use for everything from small game to deer in Special Regulation areas. I don’t think safety concerns are valid argument as no safety concerns have been raised to my knowledge in the most densely populated areas where these firearms are allowed. Modern weapons are versatile in their application and allow for many customizations to be made to benefit the shooter and enhance comfort and accuracy. At the VERY least the approval of .17 and .22 caliber rimfire semi automatics for small game hunting would be a step towards modernizing PA’s wildlife laws. I think it is time for the PGC to follow what most of the country’s wildlife agencies have done in adopting these firearms into legal use.

<span style="color: #990000">Thank you for your comments, which I will share with the Board. However, the prohibition on the use of semi-automatics is contained in Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code), which can only be amended by the state Legislature. The Game Commission has no authority to change Title 34. Here is the specific section:
Sec. 2308. Unlawful devices and methods.
(a) General rule. - Except as otherwise provided in this title, it is unlawful for any person to hunt or aid, abet, assist or conspire to hunt any game or wildlife through the use of:
(1) An automatic firearm or similar device.
(2) A semiautomatic rifle or pistol.

</span>

<span style="color: #FF6600">There has been some talk about the addition of semi auto rifles for varmints and predators. I would support such a change but would not be in favor of adding these firearms for big game hunting.
-Commissioner R. Martone</span>
 

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I don't see a problem with it. I hunt deer in WV where semi autos are legal and I have yet to run into a hunter using a semi. Not saying they're aren't any, I just don't believe just because if its made legal that everyone is gonna use one.
 

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I believe you. Out of my 5 deer hunting buddies, the rifle breakdown is: 4 Bolt Action, 1 Lever Action. Semi's are legal in NY where we do most of our deer hunting, we just choose differently. The only Semi's we use are for Duck Hunting.
 

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TheSmayWay said:
So I feel after the great "banding together" of sportsmen in support of the 2nd A we have a ball rolling. I know there will be a lot of mixed opinions on this topic but if everyone is in agreement that we should be able to own Modern Sporting Rifles its time the Commonwealth recognizes it is time we're allowed to use them to hunt with. I know there will be less support for MSRs to be used for deer hunting... but I think for small game and varmints the time has come for us to enter the 21st century. This is the letter I sent about a year ago to the PGC. They sent the response after that and then I got the following from a commissioner.

Do you guys share my sentiment or disagree? What should we do about it?




Dear PGC,

Has there been any discussion on the use of semi automatic firearms during future hunting seasons in PA? I feel that as the firearms industry has evolved many states have recognized the benefits to the hunter of having a quick follow up shot. I am mostly interested in the application of a semi automatic rifles during varmint (groundhog, fox, coyote) hunting, but feel they would be useful in all forms. Varmint hunting could be used as a trial with a limitation of firearms less than .30 caliber. Most states allow the use of modern firearms and I believe with the proper magazine restrictions that they could be a useful, ethical, and safe alternative to weapons currently permitted.

A stigma has been placed on modern semi automatic firearms by antigun lobbying organizations and the labeling of these rifles as “assault weapons” has made them out to be something they are not. Many Pennsylvanians resists the purchase of these firearms because there is currently no practical use in the PA woods. I think as the acceptance by wildlife enforcement agencies increases that the public opinion of these firearms would change for the better which is to the benefit of all parties involved in hunting and shooting sports including the PGC. Any increase in the usability of any firearm (allowing semi automatics for at least some types of hunting) will increase ownership of firearms which is to the benefit of the state of PA and the country. Acceptance as a legal means of harvesting an animal would be a victory against antigun and animal rights activists as is every expansion of hunting and firearm ownership.

Most firearms that are in use by PA sportsman today were born out of technology developed for military purposes. As semi-automatic weapon platforms emerged the adoption of new firearms into legal use by sportsman has stopped. Obviously the PGC has recognized the usefulness of semi automatic shotguns for use for everything from small game to deer in Special Regulation areas. I don’t think safety concerns are valid argument as no safety concerns have been raised to my knowledge in the most densely populated areas where these firearms are allowed. Modern weapons are versatile in their application and allow for many customizations to be made to benefit the shooter and enhance comfort and accuracy. At the VERY least the approval of .17 and .22 caliber rimfire semi automatics for small game hunting would be a step towards modernizing PA’s wildlife laws. I think it is time for the PGC to follow what most of the country’s wildlife agencies have done in adopting these firearms into legal use.

Thank you for your comments, which I will share with the Board. However, the prohibition on the use of semi-automatics is contained in Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code), which can only be amended by the state Legislature. The Game Commission has no authority to change Title 34. Here is the specific section:
Sec. 2308. Unlawful devices and methods.
(a) General rule. - Except as otherwise provided in this title, it is unlawful for any person to hunt or aid, abet, assist or conspire to hunt any game or wildlife through the use of:
(1) An automatic firearm or similar device.
(2) A semiautomatic rifle or pistol.



There has been some talk about the addition of semi auto rifles for varmints and predators. I would support such a change but would not be in favor of adding these firearms for big game hunting.
-Commissioner R. Martone
Looks similar to the return I got from him 6 months ago asking for small game and predators only.
 

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First off I own and love to shoot my M/P AR but the PGC will never in a million years touch this right now.. they are so tuned in to politics that they fear everything and anything.. I'm personally in agreement and would love to use mine hunting coyotes but this is not the time for the PGC to even remotely look at this topic..good luck and hope you get some action but don't loose any sleep over their lack of response.
 

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It's not the fight I want right now time might come for semis in deer hunting but we must first Keep the right to have firearms.
 

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I like the idea for small game and varmints, the day they alow semi autos for large game is the day I quit hunting during rifle season. too many lunatics to allow semi's in deer season
 
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