March 1, 2018

Vermont: House Committee Holds Hearing on Suppressor Bill, Followed by Demo

By Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States

On February 20, the Vermont House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife heard H. 31, legislation to authorize the use of firearm suppressors for hunting. This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by, among others, Co-Chair of the Vermont Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Member Representative Patrick Brennan.

“As a lifelong sportsman, I’ve suffered hearing damage due to unsuppressed gunfire while hunting,” said Rep. Brennan. “This common sense, and bipartisan legislation will bring Vermont in line with the 40 other states throughout the nation that allow their sportsmen and women to protect their hearing while afield.”

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Senior Director of Northeastern States Brent Miller was among several witnesses to testify in favor of the bill. “Vermont is presently one of only two states in the nation that allow their residents to protect their hearing with suppressors on the firing range, but still prohibits them from doing so while hunting,” said Miller. “This bill will simply grant Vermont hunters the same freedom to choose how to protect their hearing as others in the state are presently afforded.”

Following the hearing, CSF hosted a suppressor demo in Barre, Vermont, for Committee Members, game wardens, and others to learn about suppressors first-hand. The event was sponsored by the American Suppressor Association and Vista Outdoor Inc., and was also made possible by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

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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