February 26, 2015

CSF Weighs in on Firearm Suppressors in New Hampshire and Vermont

Last week, bills on firearm suppressors were heard in committee in both New Hampshire (House Bill 500) and Vermont (House Bill 210); CSF’s Northeastern States Director, Brent Miller, testified in favor of both.

New Hampshire House Bill 500, sponsored by Representative John Burt, a member of the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, was heard in the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee on Tuesday, February 17. Suppressors are already legal to own in New Hampshire; HB 500 would allow for their use in hunting applications. “The primary opposition that we’re facing at this time are those that say that poaching will increase as a result of this bill,” said Representative Burt. “This argument is misguided at best. Suppressors are highly regulated devices and therefore only the most law abiding citizens have the ability to purchase them. Further, suppressors are already legal to own in New Hampshire. If someone wanted to poach with a suppressor they would already be doing so. This bill is about hearing safety, pure and simple.”

Thirty-five other states across the nation currently allow hunters to take advantage of this technology while afield – offering sportsmen and women a practical method of hearing protection while maintaining situational awareness.

The following day, Vermont House Bill 210, sponsored by Representative Patrick Brennan, Co-Chair of the Vermont Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus was heard in the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources. “We in Vermont are moving forward with a bill that would repeal the current ban on ownership of suppressors. We are hopeful at this point to add Vermont’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to our list of supporters. Stay tuned,” said Representative Brennan. Currently, Vermont is one of only 11 states where suppressors are not legal.

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?

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