Dems: Why some want suppressors legalized

March 14, 2016

Possession of firearms’ suppressors will be legal if a bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee becomes law. House File 2279 is now eligible for debate on the Senate floor.


Supporters say that suppressors—also mistakenly known as “silencers”—muffle the sound of firearms, but do not silence them. According to supporters, the benefits of suppressors include:

  • Hearing protection: Noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common problems for recreational shooters and hunters. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 to 35 decibels—about the same as earplugs or earmuffs—helping to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters and hunting dogs.
  • Safer hunting: Most hunters do not wear hearing protection in the field because they need to be aware of their surroundings. As a result, exposure to an unsuppressed gunshot can lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. This creates a safer experience for the hunter and those nearby.
  • Fewer noise complaints: As urban areas expand, shooting ranges and hunting preserves that were once in the country are being closed because of noise complaints. Suppressed gunfire helps limit complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  • Accuracy: A common problem for shooters is decreased accuracy from flinching in anticipation of a firearm’s discharge and recoil. By containing the explosion of the gunpowder at the muzzle, suppressors reduce recoil, improving accuracy, shot placement and humane hunts.

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