On March 23, the bipartisan, bicameral Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, co-chaired by Senators Bruce Ennis and Brian Pettyjohn, and Representatives Jeff Spiegelman and William Carson, hosted its second meeting of the 2017 legislative session to discuss legalization of firearm suppressors.
Approximately 20 Caucus members were joined by David Saveikis, Director of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, and other members of the sportsmen’s community who provided valuable input and insight to the discussion. Director Saveikis also provided an update on the new Sunday hunting opportunities, which were advanced by the Caucus in 2016.
American Suppressor Association (ASA) President Knox Williams presented guests with an in-depth informational session on firearms suppressor technology. Legislators and attendees were provided resources to debunk the misleading myths about suppressors and learned about the many benefits that suppressor technology has to offer the sportsmen’s community. Williams also provided insight on 2016 suppressor policy victories, including legalizing suppressor ownership in Vermont and legalization of hunting with a suppressor in New Hampshire.
Representative Carson, Delaware Caucus Co-Chair, commented on the importance of suppressor technology, “Delaware is one of only eight states that does not allow ownership of suppressors, largely due to the myths that surround these firearm accessories. Suppressors are simply mufflers for firearms, which reduce the overall sound signature of a gunshot and help to preserve the hearing of hunters, recreational shooters and hunting dogs. Even the most effective suppressors on the smallest calibers still reach the same decibel levels as a jackhammer or an ambulance siren.”
Contrary to popular belief, suppressors do not completely silence firearms; rather they help to mitigate the potentially dangerous noise associated with firearms. Realistically, suppressors are a useful tool for recreational shooting and hunting, allowing for better hearing protection, reduced recoil, and increased accuracy.
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?