By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – An amendment to designate an official state firearm touched off an angry response from a Philadelphia lawmaker on the floor of the state House Monday.
The state House overwhelmingly approved an amendment that would declare the Pennsylvania long rifle the official firearm of the Commonwealth. The bill into which it was inserted – a measure declaring the Piper J-3 Cub the official aircraft of the state – is still pending a final vote.
Philadelphia Democrat Mark Cohen railed against the firearm amendment as, at best, a ‘distraction,’ “Having a state gun is deeply offensive to many people in Pennsylvania. We ought not to pass this amendment. We ought to show some sensitivity to the loss of human life.”
The amendment, meanwhile, asserts that the Pennsylvania long rifle is ‘unique’ and the first truly American firearm that the Commonwealth’s early settlers relied upon for ‘sustenance, security and survival.’