Allow the use of semiautomatic rifles and pistols for big game hunting in Pennsylvania.
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This is a petition to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to change their regulations to allow .23 cal. and larger semiautomatic weapons for big game hunting.
On November 21st, 2016 Gov Tom Wolf lifted the ban on semiautomatic weapons for hunting in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) sent out surveys to 4000 of at least 935,000 hunters and received only 2000 responses back. That is .21% of the general hunting population in Pennsylvania. In other words, that is the equivalent of asking the opinion of 56 fans at a regular Pittsburgh Pirates game. 64% of those surveyed were opposed to idea of hunting with semiautomatic weapons. I for one do not believe that was a fair representation of hunters. On March 28th, 2017 the PGC voted not to allow semiautomatic weapons for big game hunting.
When speaking with Commissioner Daley of the PGC, he mentioned that the organizations that came out strongly supporting the regulation change did not do their part in educating hunters about the appropriateness and safety of using semiautomatic weapons. Those against the change imagined bullets flying through the air in all directions.
According to an article by Fox43: Fact-finding by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff revealed no higher incidence of hunting accidents in any state where semiautomatics are permitted, and many firearms experts have said they believe semiautomatics are safer in that they allow for continuous focus on the target and often require the shooter to absorb less recoil.
The PGC stated that if more interest is shown in the usage of semiautomatic rifles for hunting, that they will rethink their regulation changes. Pennsylvania is 1 of 2 states in the United States that do not yet allow the use of semiautomatic rifles for hunting big game.
I urge my fellow hunters, non-hunters, friends and family of hunters, even non-resident hunters that may come to PA to hunt to sign this petition and help make a change.
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