Pennsylvania: Prospect of using semi-autos for big game kicked down the road
By Chris Eger
The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced this month that semi-automatic centerfire rifles will not become lawful for hunting big game in the coming 2019-20 season. (Photo: PGC)
Pennsylvania-state conservation officials in Harrisburg declined to consider lifting rules prohibiting the use of semi-auto rifles for big game hunting despite expectations they would review the issue this year. The eight-member Board of Game Commissioners announced Friday they would neither draw up a such a plan nor hold a vote on one.
Pennsylvania Game Commissioner Brian Hoover backpedaled on previous moves to craft a proposal to allow semiautomatic centerfire rifles to be among those included as lawful sporting arms in big-game seasons. “While many states allow the use of semiautomatic rifles for hunting big game, and evidence suggests these firearms actually can be safer than their manually operated counterparts, it’s clear we haven’t yet arrived at the time when the majority of Pennsylvania hunters favor they be approved for big-game use,” Hoover said in a statement this week. “As opinions change, we will consider future changes to provide for the needs of our hunters.”
The announcement was greeted with a number of stout comments from those seeking to use common modern sporting rifles, old classics such as