In the gun world, there are as few things as ubiquitous as the human silhouette target. Whether it’s made out of paper or steel, silhouette targets can be found in gun ranges across the United States and are a mainstay for firearm practice, competition shooting, and law enforcement training. Despite their popularity, human-shaped targets have been criticized by gun control advocates who believe that the targets “perpetuate violence.” Taking it one step further, Pennsylvania Representative Thaddeus Kirkland (D-Chester) has announced that he will be introducing legislation to ban the use of human silhouette targets at gun ranges.

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

The news of the upcoming legislation was not well-received among gun owners, and many took to online forums to vent their frustration. Shooting enthusiasts argue that human-shaped targets are not only essential for self-defense practice, but are used in many sporting competitions as well. Nick Leghorn, a popular writer on the blog The Truth About Guns, wrote that “By signaling his intent to ban human-shaped targets, Rep. Kirkland is also signaling the fact that he doesn’t care about [gun owners] and would prefer them to be poorly trained, simply to satisfy his need for the targets to ‘look’ peaceful.”

Yet Pennsylvania is not the first state to consider a ban on human-shaped targets. Massachusetts has already banned the use of any shooting targets in licensed gun ranges “that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties.”

Kirkland similarly included an exception for law enforcement officers and military personnel. In the memo, Kirkland called for others in the Pennsylvania House to join him in co-sponsoring the legislation, which will be an amendment to Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

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42 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Lawmaker to Propose Ban on Human Silhouette Targets

  1. The sheer stupidity of this legislation astounds me. If I were in this idiot’s district, I would demand a meeting so he can explain himself and the absolute obsurdity of what he proposes.

      1. Actually, he (Kirkland) just wants to ban silhouttes that are black in color . . . . . under the pretense that they project racial profiling.

      2. There are a few decent Democrats out there, but this guy is a liberal; and by definition, a socialist (read: communist). There is a huge difference.

      3. No there’s not. Because the “good democrat” doesn’t put a stop to the onslaught of extremism from the liberal progressive left. Just like the “good Muslims” that don’t put a stop to radical jihad. Because they are for it. Just not so roughly…..

  2. for proof that it needs to be voted down, they have language in it to exclude Military and Police, There should be no exclusions to laws requiring things like magazine capacity or other features for Military or Leos. If the State feels no more than 7 round capacity magazines are sufficient for the citizens, then that should be enough for the Leo’s with all there training. There should be the same laws for everyone.

  3. Does this person also intend to prohibit police from using targets that feature pictures of pregnant women, the elderly and children as the targets?

  4. Given the current make up of PA’s legislature and the rural nature of MOST of the State, this proposal is dead on arrival! It is grandstanding at best!!!

  5. Yes… when I buy my handgun for the purpose of defending myself, and practice at the range with my handgun for the purpose of being proficient at defending myself, it would only be natural to shoot at a deer target. You never know when ill have to defend myself against a deer. ..

  6. First of all this politician is so stupid he thinks the 2nd amendment is about hunting. Second, Government cannot restrict the use of words or symbols as they are protected under freedom of speech. Third silhouette targets have been in common use by military, police and private citizens who want to practice their defensive shooting skills for many years. Silhouette targets are even REQUIRED by gun unfriendly states like Illinois for conceal carry gun shooting tests to earn your permit. This is just too stupid in so many ways. Who votes for these liberal idiots who have no respect for basic constitutional rights.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering why animal figures would be acceptable. Wouldn’t that drive people to wantonly shoot deer, turkeys and hedgehogs? O, stop the bloodshed! (sarc)

  7. Loophole: All future human shaped targets will now have antlers or horns drawn on the head so the target is no longer human.

    Other ideas: erase the neck so there is a floating head. Humans need a neck and if there isn’t one then the target isn’t human.

      1. That would be too human. Yeah their brains might be AWOL but, the same could be said for the democrat proposing this law.

      1. It’s true enough to post twice. 🙂 Obviously that politician has no idea about the law he is writing. Even if it passed there would be so many creative ways around it. Zombie targets being just one of them.

      2. Most of them don’t. Obama care is the greatest law passed without actual research into exactly what was in it prior to it becoming law.

  8. They also need to ban movies that portray a human being shot, video games and books that verbally describe shooting of humans. Likewise, make it a felony for any serviceman or woman to speak of any battles they have witnessed in which a human was shot at. Edit history books to remove any reference to humans being shot (i.e. Lincoln, Kennedy, M. L. King, etc.).

  9. Whatever, I agree it’s stupid proposal. I’ll make my own targets. It’s doesn’t take great artistic ability. Its annoying and somewhat time consuming but, there’s more than one way to skin cat.

  10. I would love to see the study that shows one is more apt to go out and shoot someone if they have been practicing on human silhouette targets. This is more emotion based political gibberish that will do absolutely nothing to stop or curtail gun violence.

  11. “Pencil-head”-avania’s ol’ Thaddeus Kirkland (D) can pretend he’s a “personal cooling fan” and … _low me! I say kick things up a notch and even print some up wearin’ ‘hoodies’!

    It’s just a paper target. More legislation will actually keep people from committing violence?

    This legislator is delusional. And a disgrace to his State. He should spend the taxpayer’s money – his salary – solving real problems.

  12. Typical thought process for a city dwelling democrat, I spent 20 years in the military shotting at silhouette targets now that I’m a civilian their some how gonna turn me into a violent person? I tell you what makes me violent is some moron politician telling me how to live my life. They havent been successful getting the guns so now their gonna tell me what kind of targets to shoot at? REALLY!!!!! We have a 2nd ammendment that gives us the right to manage a overpowering tyrannical government. Keep this in mind Representative Kirkland (D-Chester). You should be more concerned with crimnal activity and where the illegal gus are being sold and what the criminals are shooting at, because its not targets. Stop with adding additional laws for law abiding citizens it’s a blatent waste of state tax dollars to be paying you for this kind of ridiculousness.

  13. This guy is an idiot, trying to infringe on your second ammendment rights by violating your first ammendment rights. I would love, absolutely LOVE to be the test case for this law……EXCEPT I cannot. I live in Texas. Here, EVERY RIGHT IS CHERISHED. The OVERWHELMINGLY REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE IN TEXAS IS LOOKING TO MAKE OUR GUN RIGHTS STRONGER, NOT BECAUSE OUR LAWS ARE VERY RESTRICTIVE, BUT JUST BECAUSE! God bless Texas.

  14. Well, Rep Kirkland being from Chester, I don’t get his point. In the city he represents, the vast majority of gun violence is gang
    and drug related,perpetrated by felons with stolen guns.. No one causing the problem in his district goes to ranges to practice,preferring to use the the streets and citizens of Chester. And to think he could be lobbying to get more more for police and community programs is his city.

  15. It wasn’t necessary to tell us that silliness was a proposal from a Democrat. If it develops that targets eventually must have only images of the “cute and fuzzies”, I can just imagine the outraged howls from the radical elements of PETA and their pals at the USHS, SPCA, etc.

  16. Yes because banning the use of sillouette targets by law abiding citizens reduces violent crime by criminals.

    Just checking, is this really an Onion News Service story?

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