Bills recently introduced in California and Hawaii would legalize the use of firearm suppressors for hunting in both states.
Senate Bill 710, introduced by California Outdoor Sporting Caucus Member Senator Joel Anderson, would remove the felony prohibition on possession of a suppressor, and authorize individuals to use suppressors while hunting in California. A companion bill – Assembly Bill 1471 – has also been introduced by Assembly Member Travis Allen, who is also a member of the California Outdoor Sporting Caucus. Currently, both bills have yet to be scheduled for a committee hearing.
Hawaii House bill 1589, introduced by Representative Ryan Yamane, would authorize licensed hunters who comply with state firearms law to possess and use firearm suppressors while hunting, as well as authorize the manufacture and sale of firearm suppressors for licensed hunters in the state. This bill was unanimously passed by the House Committee on Water and Land, and is now awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
Suppressors, also commonly and inaccurately referred to as silencers, are the hearing protection of 21st century sportsmen and women. Despite common myths and misconceptions, suppressors do not silence host firearms. Engineered to reduce the sound signature of a gunshot, minimize felt recoil, and increase accuracy, suppressors are quickly becoming a favored accessory of shooters nationwide. They work by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle of a firearm, allowing them to cool more slowly, in a similar fashion to car mufflers. By decreasing the overall noise of a gunshot, suppressors help to protect the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs, and reduce protection conflicts.
For more information on firearm suppressors, please refer to CSF’s 2017 issue briefs.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?