Shooting-range rule changes coming in Pennsylvania

Council will engage diverse stakeholders and advise efforts to conserve wildlife and habitats while supporting recreational hunting and shooting sports.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday gave final approval to a package of regulatory changes regarding the use of Game Commission-owned public shooting ranges.

One change allows shooting ranges on state game lands to open longer – from 8 a.m. to sunset – on Sundays within the firearms deer and bear seasons.

Shooting ranges on game lands regularly are open from 8 a.m. to sunset Monday through Saturday, but regular Sunday hours are noon to sunset. On the Sundays immediately preceding the firearms deer and firearms bear seasons, however, ranges are open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Commissioners said the proposed expansion of Sunday hours within the deer and bear seasons, while minor, would create a convenience for hunters who might find themselves pressed for time to adjust sights or scopes on firearms at the height of the hunting season.

Other amendments prohibit range users from intentionally shooting at or damaging the frames and stands on which target backboards are mounted, using firearms in negligent disregard for the safety of others, or loading or discharging a firearm that contains more than six rounds of single-projectile ammunition.

An amendment clarifying that automatic firearms cannot be used Game Commission ranges also was passed as part of the package, and another amendment clarifies that Game Commission shooting ranges, regardless of length or size, are designated by default as rifle ranges, and may be designated as handgun-only ranges if posted as such by the commission.

The amendments are expected to take effect in about two months, after a review period.

Categories: Firearms

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