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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2014 10:41 AM
From: Representative Matt Gabler
To: All House members
Subject: Introduction of Legislation – Amending the Game and Wildlife Code to Remove the Statutory Prohibition Against Hunting with an Air or Gas Powered Weapon (formerly HB 1136 of 2013)
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation (previously HB 1136 of 2013) amending the Game and Wildlife Code to remove the prohibition on hunting with an air or gas powered weapon. This legislation, if passed, would not automatically allow these weapons to be used for hunting, but would simply give the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) the authority to regulate and allow the use of such weapons during specific seasons or for specific species as they see fit in order to properly manage our various game species. Currently, Title 34 specifically prohibits the PGC from allowing the use of these weapons.

Air and gas powered weapon technology has advanced in great lengths in recent years, with many such weapons now having equal or greater muzzle energy and stopping power when compared with numerous small caliber weapons currently allowed under law or regulation of the commission. Many states, including Virginia and neighboring Maryland, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and Delaware allow hunting with air powered weapons. This legislation would enable Pennsylvania to move into the twenty-first century and allow the PGC and their experts to use their data and expertise to determine whether the regulated use of these weapons is prudent with today’s technology.

House Bill 1136 was reported unanimously from the House Game and Fisheries Committee last session but did not receive a vote before the full House. This legislation has received positive attention from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Outdoors Notebook and the Pennsylvania Outdoor News. It is my hope that the reintroduction of this proposal will enable us to pass this commonsense update to our Game and Wildlife Code. Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.


Introduced as HB263