Argumentative shots are being fired both for and against legalizing semiautomatic rifles for hunting in Pennsylvania, but the cold, hard facts don’t justify the fear surrounding the discussion.
“History simply tells us they haven’t caused problems anywhere else they’ve been approved for use,” a Lancaster Online report by P.J. Reilly explained. “And history tends to repeat itself.”
Though never before allowed by the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, semiautomatic rifles are legal in more than 40 states and have produced no increased safety risks. Even 20 years of special semiautomatic shotgun authority in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and other counties has failed to kill the debate.
“Hunters here are firing more shots than hunters in the rest of the state, while packed more tightly into relatively small properties surrounded by houses, businesses, cars, etc.,” Reilly wrote. “A carelessly-fired slug doesn’t have to travel far here to cause problems.”
Yet that remains to be seen in hunting reality. The state board is mulling an authorization for semiautomatic rifles for use in hunting big game, small game, and furbearers. It is expected to take a final vote in March.
Read more about the debate over semiautomatic rifles from Lancaster Online here.