The governor's move came 11 days after three Pittsburgh police officers were killed by a man with an AK-47.
"Time and time again, our police are finding themselves outgunned," he said at a news conference Wednesday. "They are finding themselves with less firepower than the criminals they are trying to bring to justice."
Rendell also called on state lawmakers to pass "simple" gun-control measures, The Philadelphia Inquirer said.
Congress approved a ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons but it expired in September 2004. Last month, 65 House Democrats announced that they would oppose reinstating the ban.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]