human silhouette target

A typical human silhouette target

A Delaware County lawmaker wants to ban human silhouette targets from all civilian shooting ranges in Pennsylvania.

Only police officers and the military would be allowed to use such targets.

Democtratic state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland on Jan. 8 issued a memorandum announcing his plans to introduce legislation which would amend state law to ban the use of the targets at ranges across the state.

Here's the explanation Kirkland provided in his memorandum seeking co-sponsors for the proposed legislation.

"Rather than perpetuate violence by continuing to allow individuals to practice their target shooting by shooting at human silhouette targets at shooting ranges, my legislation will prohibit the use of targets that depict human silhouettes at shooting ranges across the Commonwealth," the memorandum states.

"Instead, silhouette targets could include, but are not limited to the following: white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and elk."

Human silhouette targets are commonly used at shooting clubs throughout Lancaster County — and across Pennsylvania — by people practicing self defense and by people simply interested in shooting at targets.

Like many other shooting-supplies stores in the county, Kinsey's Outdoors between Mount Joy and Elizabethtown sells them.

"We sell them because our customers have told us they want them," said Alex Cameron, Kinsey's general manager. "And we will happily continue to do so."

Cameron said he hadn't heard of Kirkland's proposal, but said Kinsey's "has no probem" with people shooting at human silhouette targets.

"Most of our customers are going to be people who belong to the local shooting clubs," he said. "So I'm sure that's where they're shooting these targets."

Columbia Fish & Game Association in West Hempfield Township is one local club which has outlawed the use of human silhouette targets on its ranges.

"It's been that way for a long, long time," said club president Sam Weigard. "As long as I can remember."

The 1,400-member, 60-acre club was originally "incorporated as a fishing and hunting club," Weigard said.

Because of that, the club wants its ranges to primarily be used by members shooting to prepare for hunting season.

"We are not a tactical shooting club," he said. "We don't have anything against that kind of shooting, but that's just not what we were set up to be."

Already, Kirkland's proposal is drawing fire.

Rep. Kirkland could not immediately be reached Wednesday for comment.

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