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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 17, 2017 01:23 PM
From: Representative Kevin J. Boyle
To: All House members
Subject: Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines (Re-Introduction)
 
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation – former House Bill 1368 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session – to prohibit the sale, offering and exposing for sale, use, purchase, possession and control of a large capacity ammunition magazine – which is defined as an automatic ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 15 rounds of ammunition or 5 shotgun shells.

My legislation will include 12 exceptions to the prohibition on large capacity ammunition magazines. Those exceptions include:
1. Large capacity ammunition magazines legally possessed prior to the effective date of the bill;
2. Government officers, i.e., military, police, National Guard, etc;
3. Museum collections;
4. Delivery of a large capacity ammunition magazine to law enforcement after its discovery;
5. Firearm dealers who obtain a permit from the attorney general selling to individuals permitted to possess a large capacity ammunition magazine;
6. Manufacturers who obtain a permit from the attorney general;
7. An armored vehicle business that obtains a permit from the attorney general, and its employees, for purposes of the armored vehicle business;
8. A private forensic laboratory that obtains a permit from the attorney general, and its employees, for purposes of forensic activities of the laboratory;
9. Gunsmiths who obtain a permit from the attorney general for purposes of maintenance, repair or modification of the large capacity ammunition magazine;
10. A motion picture or television production that obtains a permit from the attorney general, and its agents and employees, to use a large capacity ammunition magazine as a prop;
11. Shooting ranges that obtain a permit from the attorney general; and
12. Members and patrons at shooting ranges.

Large capacity ammunition magazines are a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to the 1980s, the most popular handgun design was the revolver. However, during the 80s, the firearms industry shifted design and marketing toward high-capacity semiautomatic pistols. In 1980, semiautomatic pistols accounted for only 32 percent of the 2.3 million handguns produced in America. By 1991, however, such pistols accounted for 74 percent of the 1.8 million handguns produced that year.

I believe this legislation is reasonable and necessary, as it is illegal to use a large capacity ammunition magazine to hunt in Pennsylvania, and tragically because these magazines have been frequently used in horrendous mass shootings – including those that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut; Tucson, Arizona; Columbine High School in Colorado; Virginia Tech; Fort Hood, Texas; and the nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

In some cases, large capacity ammunition magazines can hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition. While typically associated with machine guns or semiautomatic assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines can often be used in any semiautomatic firearm that accepts a detachable magazine. Due to their ability to hold so many rounds of ammunition, large capacity ammunition magazines significantly increase the lethality of the automatic and semi-automatic firearms using them.

My legislation would allow Pennsylvania to follow the lead of other states such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York that have limited the amount of ammunition in firearm magazine clips.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this very important legislation.



Introduced as HB2112