Firearms Owners Against Crime

Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action

Why FOAC-ILLEA is in on the centerfire semi-auto fight... :: 09/11/2023

by: James Stoker

As many of you know, recently FOAC-ILLEA has taken a role with several sportsmen associations in petitioning the Pennsylvania Game Commission to legalize semi-automatic centerfire rifles for big game hunting. There are various reasons why this needs to happen, but it is controversial, and it is not necessarily heavily supported among many hunters in the Commonwealth. I received an email from a sportsman who wanted to disagree, stating things like it “removes skill” somehow and that “lunatics” want to use ARs in hunting. He went on to say he doesn’t want them in Pennsylvania and if you “need” one to hunt that means you “can’t hunt”.

Why would our organization take the stance that we support semi-auto centerfire for hunting big game when the topic is hunting and so divisive? The answer is simple. Freedom. In my response to the author of the email, I list numerous reasons why a hunter in Pennsylvania might choose to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to choose such a weapon to hunt deer or other large game. I’m attaching a link to my blog that hosts the response to one such writer for all of you to read, should you desire to see my points. But simply put, it’s the freedom we each have as an American citizen to choose the weapon we want, as provided for by our Constitutions.

This isn’t about the myth of chaos in the woods, or a bloodbath brought on by rapid fire hunters trying to cut down trees to kill a buck. This is about reality, and the reality is 48 states in this great nation allow it, and have for decades, without a single such incident reported anywhere. It’s about the reality of our natural right to provide for our families and hunt the very sustenance that nature has provided for our taking from the beginning of time. It’s about the reality that nobody, not the author, and not you or I have the right to tell another good citizen of this great Commonwealth what rifle is best for her or him to hunt with. Can you imagine if the government came to you and stated you are not permitted to hunt with a bow, but instead must use a knife or spear? This is no different.

This is why FOAC-ILLEA is engaged in this topic and will be until it is rectified. The first shot of a hunt is about skill whether it be from a bolt-action, lever-action, semi-auto, bow, crossbow, or spear. This does no more to take skill out of the hunt than the development of soft-tip ammunition or lighter weight rifle stocks. It’s about freedom of choice. It’s about the 2nd Amendment. And it’s about ALL of US whether we hunt or not. Freedom isn’t free, and sometimes you must stand and fight for the masses, regardless of your own preferences. Hunt with your bolt-action if you wish but stand for your fellow sportsman that wants to choose. That is what’s right. And that is exactly what FOAC-ILLEA does.


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