There’s a bill being floated in Harrisburg that’s meant to address Philipsburg Gun Club’s ongoing dispute with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. I’ve heard from some activists in the state that have issues with the bill, and I have to join in some concern. If you read the text, it creates a state level task force Â to investigate the issue. The politicians who have introduced this bill do not concern me. Senators Wozniak, Pippy, White, Eichelberger and Stout are all A-rated, so I think this represents a genuine effort to try to deal with this dispute.
What concerns me is that the shooter’s voice in this debate will be represented by the American Trapshooters Association and the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. I have no issues with ATA’s presence on the task force, and think they bring a welcome voice. I do have some concerns with PFSC’s presence on the task force, as opposed to, say, NRA’s. Since Melody Zullinger left, PFSC has fallen on hard times, and they no longer seem to be active within the community. I’m very concerned about putting an issue this important in their hands.
Other than that, I think this bill does a number of good things. It prevents state agencies from closing down shooting at ranges without going through the PA Game Commission first, and even then only under a standard of, “becauseÂ of scientific proof that the action is necessary to avoidÂ environmental degradation which is beyond remediation.” It also puts the PA Game Commission, and not the DCNR, in charge of promulgating regulations for the management of lead at shooting ranges.