Suppressor ownership is skyrocketing as more shooters learn the benefits of shooting quietly, and realize that ownership of suppressors is legal in 39 states. The power of the Internet has demystified both the suppressor as a firearm accessory and the legal requirements necessary to acquire one. With Web sites such as Advanced Armament Corporation’s “Can University” showing ordinary shooters the path to legal ownership, more civilians than ever before are protecting their hearing, enhancing their accuracy, and reducing felt recoil with suppressors. Over half of the states that allow suppressors let hunters use them for taking game already. Now, three more states are considering laws allowing the use of suppressors during hunting season.
Senate Bill 301 allows the use of silencers—yes, the law says silencers, not suppressors—in hunting season, and provides for penalties for offenders who hunt big game out of season or at night while using a silencer. This bill passed the Georgia Senate resoundingly yesterday with a vote of 48 to 5 and is on its way to the Governor Nathan Deal’s desk to be signed into law. Governor Deal has an A rating from the NRA and a solid pro-gun record.
Senate Bill 243 passed its second reading in the Indiana Senate by a voice vote, meaning that it wasn’t even close enough to warrant counting the votes. Currently, Indiana allows silencer use for any shooting activity except for the taking of game, so SB 243 simply removes that exclusion, while adding misdemeanor charges for silencer use when taking game illegally or on private land without the permission of the landowner. This bill is set for a final vote today, February 1, 2012, in the Senate, so if you are an Indiana resident, call 317-232-9400 to contact your Senator by phone and urge them to vote for SB 243. Make sure to be polite, and to thank them, or their staff manning the phones, if they indicate that they are voting in favor of the bill.
State Representative David Gowan just introduced House Bill 2728, which would allow hunters in Arizona to use silencers for hunting. This bill has a long way to go through the system before it becomes law. However, if you are a resident of Arizona you can contact the House of Representatives information desk at 800-352-8404 to get your Representative’s contact information. Encourage them to vote for HB 2728 or even co-sponsor it!
All three of these bills were backed by the National Rifle Association. One is all but signed into law, one faces a critical vote today, and one was just introduced. One of the biggest threats to both hunting property and organized shooting ranges are the noise complaints filed ceaselessly by anti-gunners using zoning regulations and civil lawsuits to shut down our ability to shoot. Legalizing suppressor ownership and use takes this argument away from them, as well as protecting the hearing of us shooters. It’s a win-win!