I don't have an answer for the original question, "Will rifles be legal state wide this firearms deer season?". I talked with my state senator(vice chair of the NR committee), and he just had a blank stare. He said he would look into that, and get back to me. So far no response.
But to speak to Bassman's concern about the safety of rifles versus shotguns, the Pennsylvania Fish & Game chartered a study to answer this question. The agency doing the study contracted the U.S. Army Ballistics Lab to do the technical research, and their conclusion was, in all ethical uses of rifles and shotguns, shooting slugs, for hunting purposes and methods, the SHOTGUN was more dangerous. The only case cited where a rifle was more dangerous, was if the target was silhouetted on a hill, where the shooter was below the target. This is considered an unethical shot, since it violates one of the four rules of firearm safety...Know your target and what is beyond. In most hunting situations, the shooter is shooting down(elevated stands), or at worst, parallel to the ground. In both cases, where the projectile reflects off of a hard surface, the more frangible rifle ammo will deform, destabilize, and lose energy quickly, where energy is below lethality levels within 175 yards. Whereas a shotgun slug, foster or sabot, is much heavier, and less likely to deform, destabilize, and will still have lethal energy out to 600 yards.
With the proper internet search, the full study, and summary is available on-line. Eye opening, and as is often the case, when the real results run counter to commonly held beliefs.
Many years ago the local farm boys where shooting at driven deer, on frozen plowed fields, with shotguns, and my father and our cabin, 500 yards beyond the deer, came under fire. There is still a scar on a hard maple tree at the front of our cabin. The farm boys refused to believe their slugs could have reached the cabin area, until my father forced them to check out the maple tree 15' from our cabin...Red faces and apologies were the result.
There may be other reasons to not allow rifles for hunting, but the errant belief that a shotgun is safer than a rifle, should not be one of them.