Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
The United States is in the midst of another round of debates about possible gun control legislation following a mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February.
Pennsylvania is not immune from this debate.
Several bills have been introduced in the state Legislature aimed at addressing gun violence through things like background checks and bans on certain types of firearms or accessories.
Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Montgomery County, has introduced a bill that doesn’t focus on the gun per se, but rather how much ammunition it can hold.
Boyle’s bill, House Bill 2112, would ban the purchase, sale or possession of “large capacity ammunition magazines.”
The bill would limit magazine capacities to 15 rounds of ammunition or five shotgun shells.
Boyle noted in his co-sponsorship letter that larger capacity magazines were used in mass shootings in numerous mass shootings including one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Columbine High School in Colorado.
“In some cases, large capacity ammunition magazines can hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition,” Boyle wrote in a co-sponsorship letter. “While typically associated with machine guns or semi-automatic assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines can often be used in any semi-automatic firearm that accepts a detachable magazine. Due to their ability to hold so many rounds of ammunition, large capacity ammunition magazines significantly increase the lethality of the automatic and semi-automatic firearms using them.”
There are 12 exemptions to Boyle’s bill including those for law enforcement and for the possession of any large capacity magazines purchased before the enactment of the ban.