“This bill would not automatically allow these weapons to be used for hunting, but it does give the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) the option to allow them,” Gabler said. “Prevously, these weapons were considered to be inadequate for hunting. However, the technology for air- and gas-powered weapons has advanced significantly in recent years, and they now have power equal to or greater than traditional weapons currently allowed for hunting in Pennsylvania. The idea for this legislation was brought to my attention by a constituent, and I am proud to work on behalf of the citizens of Elk and Clearfield counties in advancing good ideas for our state.”
House Bill 1136 would remove a section of current law that prohibits hunting with air- or gas-powered weapons. As a result, the PGC would have the authority to regulate the use of such weapons during specific seasons or for specific species as they see fit in order to properly manage various game species.
“The positive economic impact that this legislation enables, coupled with the increased hunting opportunities for Pennsylvanians, make this an exciting proposal, and I am thankful my colleagues in the Game and Fisheries Committee saw fit to move it forward,” Gabler said.
Many states, including Virginia and neighboring Maryland, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and Delaware currently allow hunting with air-powered weapons.
The bill now goes to the full House for its consideration.