The Dreaded Pigeon Shoot Ban

Harrisburg PA Capitol Dome

When anti-gun lawmakers in Pennsylvania want to derail a pro-Second Amendment bill, the first amendment they usually reach for is a ban on pigeon shooting. The ban is opposed by NRA, but they know they can pull a few lawmakers off from the coalition who will vote in favor of the ban. It’s basically their own little poison pill amendment.

Well, it looks like the sponsors finally decided to attach it to a non-gun bill today. If it hasn’t already happened, then it’s expected to get a vote today as an amendment on a bill that bans the consumption of cats and dogs. I don’t see any votes on the Senate Judiciary website for an amendment, nor do I see any amendments from the Senate on the bill history page.

It will be an interesting issue if this does end up going to a vote on a non-gun bill. It takes one of the biggest tools of the anti-gunners off of the table for stalling future pro-rights legislation. That’s typically a good thing. It’s an issue where I don’t think the activity should be banned, but the fact is that it’s an uphill climb to defeat the ban every time it comes up. I really hate the idea of throwing any member of the shooting community under the bus, but I’m also kind of tired of seeing everything else sidelined because of this one issue.

We’ll see how it works out – if it’s going to be a continuing issue for gun bills or if it was pulled from the calendar again.

20 thoughts on “The Dreaded Pigeon Shoot Ban”

  1. There is no “right” to shoot animals as they try to escape from cages. I wouldn’t go out of my way to ban pigeon shoots, but I’m definitely opposed to them as a personal choice and wouldn’t hesitate to throw these “sportsmen” under the bus if they were holding up more important things.

  2. We aren’t throwing them under the bus. They throw captive animals from cages and then shoot them, for fun. Just because they torture the damn things with guns doesn’t make it a gun issue.

    Shooting a captive animal for giggles is not “hunting”, nor is it livestock processing.

    I am hardly squeamish. I slaughter and process chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and hogs on my own farm and don’t relish killing them for fun. I know bad things when I see them. There is no right to kill captive things for fun.

    Like Bitter, I’ve never thought of standing up and working against this. But if it goes, I wouldn’t shed any tears.

    1. I’ve eaten dog.

      The answer to your question probably depends on the breed.

    2. Do we need half the shit the general assembly wastes their time on? I wish we had a part-time legislature like other states have. I don’t like having 253 politicians up to no good as a full-time job, year-round job.

  3. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for the Fudds. But if pigeon shoots are banned, they can always drop some trout in barrels and go fishing instead.

  4. First they came for the socialists….

    I don’t shoot pigeons for fun, I shoot them for money. I’ve shot a lot of gun games – sporting clays, trap, IDPA, 3 gun, etc. – and I’ve made more money at one PA Flyers event than I made in total at all of the other games.

    If pigeon shoots go, I’m confident so will field trials and so will bird dog training. After all, what’s the difference between shooting pigeons from traps and shooting Japanese quail or chukar from traps when you’re training pups or competing in a field trial?

    The amendment should die and we should hold any votes for it accountable.

    1. I can draw a line between training animals to further hunting, and shooting caged birds for fun and profit. If you cannot see that line, then that is exactly why the other side wins this debate more times than not.

      The “first they came for” trope doesn’t work when the thing they are banning is actually, you know…torture of animals for fun and profit.

      “First they came for the murderers…”

      Umm. Yes.

      Again: I am no friend of PETA. I routinely kill animals for food. I am slaughtering more than 40 captive animals next week.

      But I don’t enjoy it, and I am not afraid to say that makes a huge fucking difference. If they are in captivity, we have an obligation to respect them until the end, and that includes not shooting them for kicks and giggles (or as part of a contest to see how many caged animals we can conquer in a short period of time).

      You shoot them for money, but that money doesn’t come from traditional livestock processing (selling the carcass for profit). You make that money by entertaining people through the killing of captive animals. I take you at your word that you don’t enjoy it, but seriously that is little distinction. The fact is that you are killing caged animals for fun – even if others are having the fun and you are, “just following orders.”

      1. Often, field trial dogs are not hunted. Is it safe to assume you’re ok with banning that?

        PETA and SHARK can’t draw that line either.

        Let’s be honest. They’re pigeons! They are raised solely for this purpose. They are not captured from NYC or Philly (although I bet some residents wish they were).

        They are not tortured. Wounded birds are swiftly dispatched (at least at the events I’ve been to), and the ones that get away usually fly right back to their coup.

        I don’t particularly see it any differently than big game farm trophy hunts. Those animals are certainly caged and then shot. It’s not something I participate in, but I’d stand up for the folks that run the farms and the customers that pay them.

        Many years ago, the pigeons were eaten. But, we as a society have made that taboo for some reason.

        Oh… And I do enjoy the game of it. I’d be less inclined to invest the money in it if the return wasn’t worth it though.

  5. Throw them under the bus? Hell, I’ll drive the thing. These clowns are an albatross, or pigeon if you will, around the neck of the gun rights movement. The antis couldn’t hope for a better caricature of gun owners as dimwitted, bloodthirsty, old, crackers.

    1. It’s awesome when you stereotype.

      C’mon up to coal country and bring the bus. You’ll meet a bunch of coal miners that don’t fit your vision of old and dimwitted.

      Pittman Valley just after the new year, sparky.

  6. While banning sporting events using live birds as targets may well be in vogue today as the left’s go-to poison pill, let’s not deceive ourselves: If they succeed in banning this type of event, they will just move on to using something else as a poison pill.

    It’s not like they’re short on things to suggest:

    *Mandatory PICS checks (through FFLs) for *all* firearm sales, including long guns.

    *”Lost and stolen”

    *Mandatory training for LTCF.

    *Waiting periods/licensing for gun purchases.

    *Weakening/destroying preemption.

    *Widening the discretion granted to sheriffs regarding the issuance of LTCF.

    There are plenty of things that they want to accomplish; Let’s not try to fool ourselves that they’ll give up trying to put poison pills on our bills if they succeed in getting pigeon shoots banned.

    1. Let’s not try to fool ourselves that they’ll give up trying to put poison pills on our bills if they succeed in getting pigeon shoots banned.

      I think the point was, is this particular poison pill worth throwing away so many good bills for? I’d argue that no, it’s not. But then I don’t fish out of barrels, either. All of the other items you mention would be worth fighting for, IMHO. But shooting caged tree rats? Eh.

      1. My point is that the leftists in our commonwealth’s legislature have shown a desire to put as many poison pills in our bills as they possibly can. They’ve reached the point of throwing everything they have at the proverbial wall just to see if they can get something to stick.

        As far as pigeon shoots go, I don’t really care enough to have a firm position either way regarding their legal status.

        That being said, I don’t see any benefit to letting them score a win here: My point is simply that I don’t believe that allowing them to accomplish this will have any effect on their desire to torpedo our legislation in any way they can.

        Furthermore, I can even foresee this being a big LOSS for us due to the Bloombergian tradition of sounding the victory trumpets at every possible opportunity. If they get this, they’ll play it up as a big win for them.

        As we’ve seen before, when they score political wins, they’re the majority (and nobody should be against the majority); When they get dealt a political loss, they get to play up how the “mean gun bullies” are oppressing them…..

        TLDR: My point is that, while I don’t give a damn about the issue, I don’t see any benefit to handing our enemies an unopposed victory on a silver platter: I don’t see any potential gain from it.

        1. That being said, I don’t see any benefit to letting them score a win here

          TLDR: My point is that, while I don’t give a damn about the issue, I don’t see any benefit to handing our enemies an unopposed victory on a silver platter: I don’t see any potential gain from it.

          I think the problem is that you’re not seeing the forest through the trees. You said you don’t want to hand our enemies a victory. Yet, letting good bills die in order to save pigeon shoots is handing our enemies a victory. If a ban on pigeon shoots was the poison pill attached to Constitutional Carry legislation, would you rather see that bill die so our enemies don’t score “a victory”? That’s kinda how this whole thing works – they attach a poison pill to an otherwise good bill, and it dies, and they score “a victory”.

          If giving up pigeon shoots is the only thing standing in the way of whatever good bill they’re trying to kill, then oh well, brave pigeon shooters. The problem with pigeon shoots, from our side, is that it’s hard for pro-gun politicians to defend keeping them. I mean, it’s horrible PR. If we “give” them pigeon shoots and they move on to something else, then I’d say it’ll probably be easier to defend whatever else they choose. They chose pigeon shoots for a reason – it’s the worst thing to have to defend that they can get pro-gun politicians to keep defending.

          1. “Yet, letting good bills die in order to save pigeon shoots is handing our enemies a victory.”

            I think you missed the general gist of my argument, which can be boiled down to three basic points:

            First, I don’t really care about pigeon shoots. I have never been involved with one, and I don’t really see much reason to change that.

            Second, I contest the assertion that we will benefit at all if we just hand them pigeon shoots on a silver platter with the bill mentioned in the OP. While a potential pigeon shoot ban may have been a historic threat, I contend that the bigger threat these days is what we have seen of late (namely, the tactic of attaching a ridiculously large number of proposed amendments to a bill as a means to kill it.)

            While I would potentially welcome a bill giving us something we want (two-tier Vermont-friendly constitutional carry, removal bans on the use of modern rifle actions/magazines for use while hunting, expansion of preemption including personal financial liability for public employees who violate the statute, etc.), the policy of giving the opposition something they want on a silver platter in the hopes that it will “trickle down” to them giving you something later has been proven to be a failed policy. The result is that the opposition gets what they want and you get nothing from it.

            In short, while I don’t think that it’s the business of government to prohibit pigeon shoots, if we ARE going to allow the government to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong, we should make sure we get something tangible out of it.

  7. I don’t like the idea of pigeon shoots, but I DETEST the idea of throwing any group of law-abiding gun owners “under the bus”!

    We hate it when “FUDDS” do it to us, let’s not let it happen to any of our groups!

    The anti-rights bigots can come up with any number of lame poison pill ammendments, so I don’t think that should be an issue here.

    If we ignore the interests of the pigeon shooters, then maybe they will ignore us when it is our turn under attack.

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