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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 9, 2019 11:20 AM
From: Representative Kevin J. Boyle
To: All House members
Subject: Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines (Re-Introduction)
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.

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.

It is already illegal to use a large capacity ammunition magazine to hunt in Pennsylvania, but it is not illegal to use one for other purposes. Tragically, 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. Most recently, they were used during the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio shootings that happened on August 3rd and August 4th.

My legislation is former House Bill 2112 of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. It would 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. This legislation would allow Pennsylvania to follow the lead of other states such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont, the District of Columbia, 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 HB1762