On May 11, the New Hampshire House of Representatives concurred with a minor amendment to HB 500 (also called the Hunter’s Hearing Protection Act) made by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. HB 500 would authorize the use of firearm suppressors for hunting; the amendment simply removed the “findings” section of the bill leaving the substance intact. The bill is sponsored by New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Representative John Burt and is championed by many other Caucus members in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle.
Firearm suppressors are often misrepresented in popular culture. In reality, they are an innovative alternative to traditional hearing protection that allows hunters to maintain their situational awareness while afield. New Hampshire is currently one of only three states that allows their citizens to own suppressors but not use them for hunting purposes. The bill will soon head to the desk of Governor Maggie Hassan for consideration, after which time she will have five days to act on the legislation or it will become law without her signature.
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?