State hunters can use semi-automatic weapons

HARRISBURG. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill into law that expands the list of firearms permitted for hunting in Pennsylvania to include semi-automatic rifles and handguns.

The new law doesn’t make semi-automatic weapons legal for hunting in time for the upcoming firearm deer season, which begins Monday.

Semi-automatic firearms discharge one shot for each pull of the trigger. The next cartridge is automatically pushed into the firing chamber.

The use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting has been debated by legislators in some form since 2011. With its approval, Pennsylvania becomes the 49th state to allow hunters to use them.

Sen. Scott Hutchinson, a Venango Republican and co-sponsor of the bill, said he’s pleased the measure now is law.

Gun violence prevention association CeaseFire Pa remained neutral on the legislation.