[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 131 ]
Preliminary Provisions; Definitions
[52 Pa.B. 5653]
[Saturday, September 3, 2022]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its July 9, 2022, meeting to amend § 131.2 (relating to definitions) to permit muzzleloading firearms that allow a cartridge of loose or pelletized black powder or black powder substitute to be loaded from the breech, while the projectile remains loaded from the muzzle to be used as a muzzleloading firearm.
This proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
This proposed rulemaking was made public at the July 9, 2022, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until September 21, 2022, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
1. Purpose and Authority
As the nature of its name implies, a muzzleloading firearm is by definition ''a firearm designed'' to have its loose ammunition components ''loaded. . .from the muzzle. . . .'' In this instance, the ammunition components refer to the combination of the loose or pelletized black powder or black powder substitute and the projectile or projectiles. Recent developments in the firearms industry have generated muzzleloading firearms that can accommodate the loading of a captured powder charge similar to a cartridge, casing or shell that is loaded from the breech, with the projectile or projectiles remaining to be loaded from the muzzle. Current regulations specifically prohibit muzzleloaders that accept cartridge ammunition. However, this restriction was originally intended to restrict modern firearms that are loaded by a cartridge or casing that contains both the powder and the projectile. The Commission does not intend or desire for this restriction to apply to the previously-described muzzle- loaders. The Commission is proposing to amend § 131.2 to permit muzzleloading firearms that allow a cartridge of loose or pelletized black powder or black powder substitute to be loaded from the breech, while the projectile remains loaded from the muzzle to be used as a muzzleloading firearm.
Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' The amendments to § 131.2 are proposed under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This proposed rulemaking will amend § 131.2 to permit muzzleloading firearms that allow a cartridge of loose or pelletized black powder or black powder substitute to be loaded from the breech, while the projectile remains loaded from the muzzle, to be used as a muzzleloading firearm.
3. Persons Affected
Persons who utilize muzzleloaders that utilize a charge cartridge, casing or shell that is loaded from the breech and the projectile or projectiles remaining to be loaded from the muzzle within this Commonwealth will be affected by this proposed rulemaking.
4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
This proposed rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.
5. Effective Date
This proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
6. Contact Person
For further information regarding this proposed rulemaking, contact Jason L. DeCoskey, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
BRYAN J. BURHANS,
Fiscal Note: 48-484. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 131. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
§ 131.2. Definitions.
In addition to the definitions contained in section 102 of the act (relating to definitions), the following words and terms, when used in this part or in the act, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
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(i) A firearm designed and manufactured to be loaded with loose ammunition components (projectile and propellant charge) from the muzzle or forward, open end of the firearm's barrel.
(ii) The term includes full or partial breech-loading rifles and handguns that fire loose ammunition components comparable to a muzzleloading firearm.
(iii) The term does not authorize a firearm that accepts cartridge ammunition that contains both the projectile and propellant charge.
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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-1349. Filed for public inspection September 2, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]
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