PA Game Commission Votes AGAINST Semi-Automatic Hunting

Today, after previously voting unanimously to preliminarily approve hunting of game with semi-automatic firearms, the Pennsylvania Game Commission voted against semi-automatic hunting for big game in violation of the Second Amendment and in direct betrayal of gun owners.

Please reach out to the Game Commission and let them know your thoughts on their encroachment of your inalienable rights.

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38 Comments

Filed under Hunting, Uncategorized

38 responses to “PA Game Commission Votes AGAINST Semi-Automatic Hunting

  1. I must say that I am severely disappointed with the vote against semi-automatic hunting despite the use of taxpayer dollars for all the research and info that has been found to show no harm and safety issues overall in similar states. This is particularly disturbing after the preliminary approval. How do will they justify the about face and spending of money on research with this outcome? This is wholly unacceptable and now we will have to go back to the legislature to find a way around all this.

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    • It appears that some “alleged” hunters (likely those with signs Sportsmen for Obama), sent in comments opposing semi-automatic hunting for big game.

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      • Art Minnich

        I guess it’s a lot like Republicans. There are progressive (closet democrats) and conservative. Those who embrace this latest ruling are closet democrats. In order to get their attention we would have to take something they like. Like that pump or lever action. Then there would be tears and they would expect us all to band together to save what is theirs. I am sure this post will offend some self professed “sportsman”. If the shoe fits, wear it. The next time your rights / preferences are on the table I’ll just laugh and walk away. After serving up platitudes.

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  2. William R Clapie

    The minority rules yet again? Or just the squeaky wheel syndrome? Do you have a set-up for a mass appeal against this ruling?
    Thanks
    Bill

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  3. I fully agree that the vote was not the correct thing to do. But I have to put a slight (or not so slight) correction to your assertion. This ruling is in no way in violation of the 2nd Amendment. Hunting is not covered in the 2nd Amendment at all. And any legislation which regulates it (hunting) to include banning it all together, does not in any way violate a person’s 2nd Amendment Rights. I would present that such a law should NOT be passed, and is outright bad, but it would not be in conflict with the 2nd Amendment. You would be hard pressed to find someone more dedicated to defending of the 2nd Amendment (and I carry daily as a mater of fact) than myself, but this issue is not a 2nd Amendment matter. And you should really already know that…. I have a feeling you DO, but know that using that rhetoric invokes more emotion from well intended, but ignorant people. This does not help those of us who actually defend the 2nd Amendment regularly. Please reconsider your rhetoric and false assertions.

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    • I’m sorry but I disagree. If you research it, there is substantial historical support and numerous books and law review articles reviewing the Second Amendment and what it encompasses, including the right to hunt. Hell, if Democrats had their way, the ONLY thing that the Second Amendment would cover is the right to hunt. The Second Amendment is broad and was intended to cover numerous facets of ownership and use of all forms of arms. These arguments that hunting is not included in the Second Amendment is akin to the arguments that tasers aren’t covered by the Second Amendment (which the US Supreme Court in Caetano held are covered by the Second Amendment). In case you’re interested, here is but one of the numerous articles supporting that the Second Amendment covers the right to hunt – http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6349&context=faculty_scholarship

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      • This is not correct, sorry. The 2nd Amendment covers owning and the bearing of those weapons, not their use. Just as murder with a weapon is also illegal, but the law is not in violation of the 2nd Amendment. This is, of course, far from the issue of whether a taser is or is not covered by the term “arms” in the 2nd Amendment. The truth is, “arms” covers all weapons, and not just “firearms” of a certain type. What the Democrats might want or what you or I might want is irrelevant. The 2nd Amendment is clear in what it covers and what it does not. It does not give a blanket Right to use the “arms” for any purpose the individual desires Any assertion to the contrary is false, no matter how many reviews or books are written saying otherwise.

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      • And where did you get your law degree? And how much time have you spent reviewing the historical evidence? I posted a law review article above that is directly contrary to your assertion. The Second Amendment absolutely covers their use; otherwise, the 4th Circuit decision in Ezell would be error and the Gov’t could restrict, in total, shooting ranges and prevent individuals from obtaining any form of competency with a firearm.

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      • And there you have it….. when contradicted the “where did you get your law degree” gets tossed out, as if only “lawyers” know the laws. 🙂 Thank you for showing everyone how you operate.

        As for the government restricting shooting ranges, they DO. And if you try to claim otherwise, you are showing more about yourself than you already have. Shooting ranges are routinely denied permits, and there are laws which restrict the firing of guns within certain distanced from homes and other structures.

        How long I have spent reviewing things, or any degrees I may or may not have does not change the truth of what I posted. And you know that. LOL But nice try.

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      • We’re all still waiting for you to post historical support for your opinion. I’ve already submitted support for the proposition that the Second Amendment covers hunting.

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      • Again, nice try. I stand by my posts and nothing you actually posted was a legal refute of it… quite the opposite.

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      • Jimmyboy

        Talk to texting. Eyes are burning from scanning whiskey cowboy comments so I will leave it at this. Since his premise is that the 2nd amendment is not related to a government beauracrats outlawing us we the people from using a certain type of firearm for purposes of hunting food for aiding in self preservation….Then tomorrow or down the road, some government beauracrats have the same right to outlaw every firearm type for hunting of any type. If your premise is right for one…It must be right for all.

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    • st381183

      Maybe you thewhiskeycowboy dcould start your own blog on your own website and give us all up-to-date information regarding firearms legislation etc. Based on your rigorous certified opinion. I for one will trust the nationally recognized firearms lawyer to base my legal interpretations.

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    • st381183 – This as well does not actually refute in any legal way, a single thing I posted. But you are, of course, free to take advice from anyone you choose. For every lawyer that says one thing, you can find another that will as vigorously refute in the opposite direction what the first stated. That is the wonderment of the legal profession. And legal briefs or opinion papers do not “make law” or “prove law”. Yes, you can get supporting arguments for your position that way, but until put to the test, they are simply opinions. And every issue he brought up, I showed that it was clearly not the case in reality. But again, you are more than free to get your legal advice or opinions from whomever you choose. Just know that lawyers are not the only ones who know law, and not every lawyer, no matter how recognized they are, is without flaw or inability to simply be incorrect in their assertions. That said, this is why the matter is still being debated, online, in coffee houses, and in the courts. And as it stands now, hunting laws are not seen as being in violation of the 2nd Amendment, It is why every State has them, and they are allowed to stand every time they are put to the test. There is mental masturbation, and there is reality.

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      • And for all… I don’t want anyone thinking I am being rude by not replying to them should they address me personally. I am no longer watching this discussion. What I thought needed to be said was said. I do recommend that everyone actually research issues and decide for themselves what is correct. And what is correct does not hinge upon a degree, a profession, or finding articles that support your beliefs; it hinges on what is correct. May you all have a wonderful day (summer can’t get here any fast enough), and stay safe. God bless the United States, and hold our elected officials to their oath to support and defend the Constitution.

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      • William R Clapie

        Mr. Parker. That seems to be quite an insult. The Cowboy fellow has managed quite some intelligent responses in here. Why would you choose to insult hlm?

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  4. Tom Martin

    Send emails to the commission (pgccomments@pa.gov,
    pgcrtk@pa.gov for example) and ask them why they are against constitutionally guaranteed rights.

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  5. Bill

    So is this vote against semi-autos for for big game only or for all game?

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  6. I Totally Disagree with having this Law Passed,I and a Second Admendment Backer,Hunter/Sportsman for over (40) years,and self protection carry,I was a Law Enforcement Officer for the State of Pennsylvania some Years,and I Honestly Back the Commission on their Decision,We do not need Hunters in the woods with Semi automatic high powered rifles,I can see with shotguns for small game hunting,turkey hunting,special regulated area with double OO buck and slug,and semi auto rimfire for small game a lot less hunters in the woods,but to have a hunter walking around with a AR-15 in a .308 caliber or .338 .50 caliber or 30-06 out of a M-1 garland is insanity,This is a Sport it has been this way since 1895,Why must we advance to this ? I have shot over (55) deer in my hunting career,and always practiced through the year at my club and ALL but a few were ONE SHOT NECK KILLS,why do we need semi autos in the woods with (10) mags or larger,maybe they want to shoot at running deer and follow through running shots spraying the woods with bullets, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH 2nd Amendment rights,and I praise you for your praising of your self with being a lawyer,and knowing the law,I would be proud myself,but until you have dressed into a uniform in the morning and go out to work and do a car stop or stop a hunter in the woods to check on the individual,and he or she has a firearm on their possession,you really wouldn’t understand the servarity or complications of a scenario,all firearms will kill I’m not contradicting myself,semi auto or a bolt action which is used with most special ops teams or snipers,but do we honestly need hunters walking around in the woods with firearms that were basically manufactured for war,law enforcement work,and other special purposes? I own a MIltary collection beside being a Sportsman and would neve consider hunting with it,REMEMBER THIS SPORT IS CALLED HUNTING NOT SHOOTING ! I am not a Obama surporter, I voted for Trump,I’m a righty,I’m old school,Thank You for letting me Air my opinion

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    • WOP2

      Michael- could you briefly describe why a .30-06 Springfield hunting round, let’s say 180 grain, is more lethal when fired from an M-1 Garand than from your favorite crank-bolt rifle? I must have fell asleep in the class that explained that concept. I guess West Virginia hunters are simply an accident waiting to happen?

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    • sean

      this diatribe from the “hunter/sportsman” who thinks its ethical to shoot a deer in the neck. enough said.

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    • Trip

      Hey, Michael, 1895 called and wants YOU back!

      All kidding aside, you act as if the Commission was voting on allowing machine guns with no limit whatsoever on magazine capacity with your ignorant spraying the woods comment. You, sir, seem to assume everybody out in the woods is already an irresponsible asshole (and poor marksmen to boot) with a firearm and somehow having a semi auto will magnify this effect. I can only fathom it’s due to your law enforcement background. Unfortunately, you seem to be one of the LEO types who believe themselves to be part of a “Samurai” class apart from the “peasantry” with your comment about semi autos being only for war, law enforcement, and other, vague, special purposes. Let me counter with…IT’S CALLED TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT!!!

      You talk about hunting as a sport like there’s some kind of inherent fairness to killing an animal with any kind of ranged weapon when there simply isn’t. If you were a TRUE sportsman by your apparent definition, you’d be out hunting in a loincloth with a blade, club, or spear (not thrown of course since that wouldn’t be sporting!).

      Killing is killing. End of story. And I suppose it’s people like you we can thank for having the option of semi auto hunting taken from us by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats. As a disabled veteran, it would’ve been nice to if I was able to use a simple to operate, gentle-recoiling weapon platform I’m most comfortable with to hunt.

      Oh, and if you were going to be fatally shot and given a choice…I highly doubt you’d choose the neck for a quick, clean death. Lord knows I wouldn’t…

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    • Art Minnich

      I am sure there were “sportsman” who carried your opinion when the Henry Repeating rifle came along. Your stance on this subject has a major flaw. You have convicted your fellow sportsman before they have done anything wrong. In your eyes they just can’t be trusted but somehow you can. This is a case of I got mine but you may not have yours. Perhaps if hunting was once again limited to muzzle loading black powder you would understand.

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  7. Brian N

    I do not see a logical, practical, or ethical reason why the hunting of big game while using a semi-automatic firearm should be prohibited. The result of the vote is is not in the favor of the ethical sportsman but more the crying anti-gun supporters that think we would be hunting with Assault Rifles.

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  8. Scott

    I’m glad they voted no for big game. I’m ok with with coyotes, groundhogs, and other small game animals. I just don’t think big game is a good idea. It’s not just an AR were talking about. Every yahoo with an SKS or AK would think it’s now cool to be out there hunting with something they can’t hit shit with. That being said, I’m a strong conservative, life member of the NRA, Veteran, current LEO, and an NRA firearms instructor. So I’m NOT an Oblama supporter at all!!! The idea of “quick” follow up shots wouldn’t be necessary if the first shot was made carefully, and humanely. It only encourages fast tactical shooting to be cool for a large group of people hunting. I’m just not ok with it. I’m sorry some may disagree with me, but that’s what makes America great.

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    • Art Minnich

      “Every yahoo with an SKS or AK would think it’s now cool to be out there hunting with something they can’t hit shit with.” – Your words. Very telling. It explained your stance perfectly.

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  9. Smokehunter

    Too many come out from the urban areas and can’t hit a bull in the ass with a scoop shovel as it is. Combine that with the fact half these idiots will combine a bear tag with an AR makes the ruling common sense.

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  10. Jerry

    Maybe you should do something about crossbows. You let people hunt all season with pretty much a rifle during bow season but your going to make an issue about semi automatic. It was fine when it was kids and old people use them but now its out of hand. Leave the gun issue be and bring back bow hunting

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  11. Marty Reinhart

    Good move not allowing semi automatic weapons for hunting. You only need 1 well placed shot to down an animal. Not some moron that doesn’t take their time and concentrate and just keeps firing in the direction of something

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  12. WOP2

    Many assumptions here. PA hunters are idiots. Spray and pray mentality. AR’s are a bad platform for a hunting rifle. Strange, in its first meeting on this subject PGC clearly stated that hunter safety is not compromised in any other of the 49 States, and PA won’t be either. Sure would have liked to have been a bug on the wall, and I suspect that PGC appointees were threatened by Wolf to blow this out of the water.

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    • John

      Not that i don’t like shooting bolt guns for accuracy, However i have a scar 17 waiting to help me speed up the sausage making.
      All in all I’ve benn back n forth with debating people on which is:
      #1 more humane
      #2 more efficient
      #3 more accurate
      And hands down it is SEMI- AUTO BY FAR AND ID LOVE TO SETTLE THIS DEBATE AND HOPEFULLY CHANGE YOUR VIEWS ON SEMI AUTO.
      SO HEAR ME OUT FIRST BEFORE YOU DIG IN WITH A SHOVEL.
      OK Lets talk humane first. In hunting we all strive to take our game in the most humane way possible, or atleast we should be. So that means we try to get the kill as quickly as possible without wounding our desired prey.so to achieve that we strive on taking game with our first shot. My grandpa took me out hunting years begore i could legally get a liscense just to sit and watch and take it all in. He also taught me to practice/think like you have only one round left so use it wisely.And i learned from him a valuble way of achieving success but only from patience to achieve humane kills. Which is something that sticks with me to this day. Ive passed up many shots on deer because of my paps philosophy. If we all went hunting and only chose to shoot when we actually were nearly 100% sure of when we pull the trigger we would achieve a ONE SHOT ONE KILL then the bolt gunn would be just fine and we wouldnt need semi auto. However we dont live in that type of utopia and in the real world we have to many variables that affect the chance to have that perfect utopian hunting world. Factors like adrenaline,Buck fever,branches,or even the game moving right as you pull the trigger. I think thats fair to at least add those variables into the equation in all fairness to as close to reality situations as possible, right or wrong? So because of these real world variables, Let’s now factor in a Bolt action rifle. So at this point we have good humane intentions but we are all human and do make mistakes like the ones i pointed out. So the deer we just tried to take (humanely), now was missed because of one of the following factors and is now ready to bolt if not already running for its life. So by the time i recover from 1st shot and reload, lets use an example of distance covered by the running deer and then factor in the time it takes me to open then bolt eject a round then reload a round close bolt home and then try to find the deer in my sights and finally get a second shot off. The deer could of traveled 30 more yards and is now a moving target as opposed to one that is calm and steady. So now were shooting at a running deer. So lets go back to the % factor of a humane kill now at this point. It is not my opinion but a fact that it is easier to hit something standing nearly still versus a running or moving target.
      So humane is still an option but the odds just went up a steep hill. It can still be done but with even more skill/ difficulty.im not here to listen to hunting stories about the great shot you luckily made im talking about 100 % positive repitition of humane shots that are the fundamental values that everybody should be striving for. Would it be easier to split a playing card by holding the barrell of the gun upto the card and pulling the trigger or trying it at 50 yards? Not to say it cant be done its just that now were takingnbad odds of humane kills by not having a Semi auto in our hands. Now lets talk semi auto in your hands and the same deer approaches and you have buck fever/ adrenaline rush/ hit a bracnch ect.. and you miss your first shot. At this point i now have a semi auto and already have a round in the chamber and can easily re adjust to getting on target for a quicker follow up shot which in return gives better odds at a higher % chance of a Humane kill because the deer #1 didnt get to run as far because i didnt have a bolt gun which takes to long to reload and then try to re aquire my target which also #2 ran farther away because of the time it took me to reload the slow bolt gun. The factors that i have shared with you are mathematical FACTS Not opinions.which in return gives me ways better odds at taking that deer in a humane way, which in return should be more accurate because he has less time run farther away from me, WHICH IN RETURN TAKES ME TO MY FINAL PART OF THE EQUATION. … ….. EFFICIENCY. …EFFICIENCY,
      Heres where everything goes down hill. Semi auto is definitely the best choice for all three key points I’ve made but just like a said we all dont live in the same utopia. Some people are in their own utopia, while the rest of us our in another. What i mean is you’ll always have a group of people that ruin it for everyone else. For instance have you ever heard the phrase IF ITS BROWN ITS DOWN? These are the type of people that do not care about humane kills and just fire repititiously at any deer at any distance at any running speed. It’s these people that make the woods unsafe and inhumane things start to compile on one another because now they teach there kids, friends ect.. ect… to hunt and shoot this way and round n round we go with this type of behavoir. This is why when i talk to alot of people in forums and at commission meetings that argue against semi auto use because of these stereotypes,which i can see their point. If we stick to just whats more efficient in getting the job done in the safest manner with humane kills. I would say this and be bold saying it. I hope you all dont think this is reckless because technically it’s actually not. Due to the fact that theres always going to be IDIOTS hunting along side us true hunters in the woods, And these idiots are taking way more dangerous shots with bolt guns alone, I WOULD RATHER SHARE THE WOODS WITH THESE IDIOTS USING A SEMI-AUTO BECAUSE I ALREADY SHOWED HOW MUCH MORE EFGICENT THEY ARE WHICH IN TURN MEANS CLOSER FOLLOW UP SHOTS WITH DEERV,ACTUALLY CLOSER TO THEM ON FOLLOW UP SHOTS WHICH MEANS IF THEY USED A BOLT GUN THESE CRAZY IDIOTS WOULD BE TAKING EVEN HARDER SHOTS BECAUSE THE DEER HAVE TIME TO RUN EVEN FURTHER WHILE THERE RELOADING THIER SLOW BOLT GUN WHICH IN TURN MAKES THEM SHOOT EVEN MORE DANGEROUSLY AND POSSIBLY SHOOT ME OR SOMEONE ELSE BECAUSE THE DISTANCE OF THE DEER NOW RAN IS NOW EVEN FURTHER. So to sum it up even an idiot has a more efficient chance to take a quicker humane second shot that an idiot with a bolt gun. AND THAT’S A FACT.LOL…..still LOJohnL….

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      • John-not sure if your response was to me (WOP2), but if it was, I am in favor of semi-auto’s for big game. I simply pointed out the excuses that the Fudds are using

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  13. Pingback: Hunting with a Semiautomatic Firearm in PA? List of approved animals. | Prince Law Offices, P.C.

  14. Kendall Klobe

    I completely disagree with the decision to not allow semi automatics for big game 100%. The evidence was clearly stated that there has been no link to semi autos and hunting accidents. Their only response to it is the ethical one shot one kill and that your shot should count. Well I can’t tell you how.many times I have been in the woods on the first day and I hear some guy miles away clack off 5 rounds in 15 seconds with either a bolt action or a lever action. I hear it multiple times a year. These people need to get it in their head that the weapon is the tool and the hunter is the one making the decisions. Semi autos allow the hunter to stay in the scope and make a much faster much more accurate second or third shot. Much less animals would be wounded. If your first shot was on the money what difference does it make if it was taken with a bolt action or a semi auto. However if you would by chance miss or wound the animal The semi auto gives you a much quicker more accurate follow up shot to put the animal down. THIS IS CLEAR COMMON SENSE TO ME.

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    • John

      I agree its the SPRAYERS AND PRAYERS THAT RUIN IT FOR ALL OF US REAL SPORTSMAN…IN MY PREV POST EVEN WITH SEMI-AUTO. YOU SHOULD STILL BE STRIVING FOR A ONE SHOT HUMANE KILL. MISTAKES SHOULD RARLEY HAPPEN AND FOLLOW UP SHOTS ARE Mathematically/ Factually MORE EFFICIENT WITH SEMI AUTO AS I STATED WHY THEY ARE IN MY ABOVE POST.

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  15. John

    Definitely a magazine capacity no greater than 5. I mean really your first shot should be enough. If extraordinary circumstances arrise you may need a second shot . Semi auto way more efficient than a bolt gun at a follow up shot which should do it. If not you should probably let it pass. For safety reasons. The whole reason ever to not consider semi auto would be because of knucke heads rapid firing the woods up trying to shoot way to quickly. Which is a discrase to real sportsman abroad and if caught they should be prosecuted. But leave us law abiding sportsman alone to shoot our centerfire semi autos in a Humane, Efficient way alone… lol……still… lol…..im sure most of us we’ll be on the lookout/patrol ready to give the game commissioners leads on people breaking the laws. God bless america…

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  16. Rich R

    THANK YOU for setting up this forum and soliciting comments.
    THE PGC continues to be an Archaic Group of Dinosaurs. I have always felt that their rationale for hunting regs was influenced by their close proximity to Lancaster. Use of semi autos is just one item. .
    Here is an example….if you were a trapper…and wanted to dispatch an animal that was in your trap or if perhaps you were a hunter that used hounds to hunt raccoon. You were prohibited from using any semi auto snall cal. handgun.
    BUT UAIBG A DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER WAS PERMITTED….
    THE MECHANICS ARE VIRTUALLY THE SAME
    NUFF SAID.
    Also, THE PGC DECISION MAKERS HAVE TOTALLY TURNED A BLIND EYE TO CORRECTING AN EXISTING SITUATION USING SEMI AUTOs ON BIG GAME.
    A NUMBER OF COUNTIES (now WMUs) HAVE A SHOTGUN ONLY REQUIREMENT FOR HUNTING DEER WITHIN THAT COUNTY / WMU. ORIGINALLY (I believe) THOSE SHOTGUNS HAD TO BE MANUALLY OPERATED BUT HAVE BEEN CHANGED AND HUNTERS CAN CURRENTLY USE A SEMI-AUTO SHOTGUN WITH SLUGS TO HUNT DEER.
    SO THE SCENARIO CONTINUES THAT IF YOU ARE HUNTING IN A SHOTGUN ONLY WMU WITH AN ALLOWABLE SEMI AUTO SHOTGUN….AND YOU CROSS OVER INTO AN ADJACENT WMU THAT PERMITS RIFLE HUNTING. YOU ARE THEN ILLEGAL USING A SEMI AUTO TO HUNT DEER…
    PGC SKIPPED RIGHT OVER THAT ONE….
    HELLO…IN THERE..ANYBODY HOME ??

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