_A House committee has delayed action on a bill banning live pigeon shoots so public hearings can be held on the controversial topic.
One goal of those hearings will be to quell concerns that a ban on pigeon shoots is a step toward gun control, according to Rep. Frank Andrews Shimkus, D-South Abington Township, who is sponsoring the measure.
“I do not support gun control,” Mr. Shimkus said.
His bill would make it a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, to stage or take part in a live pigeon shoot, which some sportsmen’s clubs have used as fundraisers. Most states already outlaw such shoots. . . .
In recent days, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action has called on gun owners to urge lawmakers to oppose the bill, suggesting animal rights activists were aiming toward broader shooting restrictions.
“Pigeon shoots are a traditional and international shooting sport. We cannot let this longstanding tradition disappear!” reads a statement on the NRA-ILA’s Web site. “Banning pigeon shoots would be a first step in advancing (animal rights activists’) agenda, and they won’t stop there!”
Mr. Shimkus scoffs at the notion he is trying to infringe on gun owners’ rights.
“I myself would never allow this bill to go forward if it had to do with gun control,” he said. “If it did, I’d pull support for my own bill.”_
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