HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A weapon that helped early Pennsylvania settlers survive and prosper is closer to being designated the state’s official firearm after a vote in the Legislature.

The House voted 173 to 24 on Wednesday to send the bill to the Senate.

The Pennsylvania long rifle was developed by gunsmiths in Christian’s Spring, near Nazareth, and by Martin Meylin in Lancaster County.

The proposal drew a strong objection by Philadelphia Democratic Rep. Mark Cohen, who cited concerns about shootings in his hometown as well as the fact that commercial products haven’t been given official status in the past (See Previous Story).

The bill also would name the Piper J-3 Cub as the Keystone State’s official aircraft.

Pennsylvania’s state beverage is milk, its animal is the whitetail deer and the mountain laurel is its official flower.

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