Articles Posted in Hunting with Silencers

Suppressors (Silencers) are now legal to own and hunting will be Legal in Minnesota (MN) as of August 1, 2015. On Friday, Governor Mark Dayton signed Senate File 878 into law, officially making Minnesota the 40th state to legalize the private possession of suppressors. The bill will make Minnesota the 36th state to allow for the use of suppressors while hunting.

This major victory for suppressor rights comes after months of hard work on the part of the NRA, the ASA, and especially Rep. Tony Cornish (R-23B), Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, who acted as a champion for our cause by shepherding this bill through committee and ensuring that this issue stayed at the top of the legislature’s agenda.

If you are wanting to permit multiple users to use your suppressor or silencer, a Gun Trust may be the best option for you and your family.

It is now legal to hunt in Montana with a Suppressor.  On April 23rd, 2015, Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 250, legalizing the use of suppressors for all lawful hunting in Montana. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kirk Wagoner (R-75), originally pertained only to the use of a suppressed firearm “when hunting wildlife not protected by state or federal law”. However, on March 27th, Gov. Bullock’s returned HB 250 to the legislature with proposed amendments that sought to expand the scope of the legislation to allow the use of a suppressor on a firearm during all lawful hunting.

Mr Bullock previously vetoed a similar bill in 2013,  but explained the recent signing by stating:

“It is time for Montana to join the clear majority of states that allow the use of suppressors for hunting. All of the western states do so, except for California. The public perception of suppressors as the same thing as silencers, where the assassin quietly dispatches his victim, no longer holds true. Suppressors mitigate the sound of a shot, but do not silence it.

The use of suppressors for hunting, when hunters cannot wear ear protection because they need to be aware of their surroundings, can help protect against hearing loss. This is especially true for our younger hunters, even those who are not actually hunting, but are accompanying their parent in the field.

I understand the concerns regarding the risks of increased poaching and do not take this lightly, but other states have not found this to be the case.”

Montana has become the 35 state to permit hunting with suppressors without restrictions and the 36th state to permit hunting with a suppressor.    The use of a Gun Trust can simply the process or purchasing a suppressor and permit additional authorized users, which is not possible when purchased as an individual.  If you are looking for a Montana Gun Trust or Montana NFA trust contact us for further information on the process.

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On March 23rd, Ohio repealed the prohibition on the use of legally possessed suppressors while hunting.  Ohio has become the 35th state to permit hunters to use legally possessed suppressors while hunting.  IN 2014 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana all enacted legislation to permit the use of suppressors while hunting.  Ohio also enacted Shall Sign legislation.

Among the many benefits, to using suppressors are:

  1. HEARING PROTECTION: Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTING: Most hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTS: As urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACY: Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

Most agree that the use of a Gun Trust is the best way to own a suppressor because of the ability to protect family and friends from issues of accidental and constructive possession. To find out more about the benefits of a gun trust use the form on this page to request information.

In 90 days, it will be legal to hunt with Suppressors in Ohio. On Friday, December 19th Gov. John Kasich signed a massive overhaul of Ohio’s Gun Law including removing the restriction for hunting with a suppressor (sometimes called a silencer). This follows the recent legalization of hunting with Suppressors in Florida. A vast majority of states now permits hunting with suppressors.

Also signed was legislation to require CLEOs to sign Form 4s and Form 1s.

The “shall certify” provision which requires a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) to sign off on an application to transfer an item regulated by the National Firearms Act, once the application procedure and requirements are met. This provision eliminates personal bias towards NFA-related items, requiring CLEOs to sign off and process the application in the same way they do a concealed handgun license.

While many feel shall certify legislation is a good thing, the risk is that people will purchase items as an individual and not use a Gun Trust from a Gun Trust Lawyer®. There are many advantages to purchasing NFA firearms using a Gun Trust, including the ability to protect innocent spouses and others from charges of constructive possession or illegal transfers under the NFA. There are many advantages to using a Gun Trust over individual ownership. For a list of these advantages, request our free report on what is a Gun Trust and Why you should have one by completing the form on this page for more information.

Unlike most states which have changed the laws, In Florida you can hunt with Suppressors starting today.

This morning the following announcement was sent out by Marion Hammer the Executive Director of the SSF and past president of the NRA

DATE: November 21, 2014 TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends FROM: Marion P. Hammer USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
At their meeting in Key Largo, Florida, today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to remove the ban on using silencers/suppressors on pistols and rifles for hunting deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

Using silencers/suppressors on pistols, rifles and shotguns for all other legal hunting was already allowed.

Following the suppressor vote, the Commission also voted to authorize an Executive Order to lift the ban immediately and allow hunting with suppressors to being at once.

Following that vote, Executive Order # EO 14-32 was signed. Using suppressor-equipped rifles, pistols and shotguns are now legal for all hunting in Florida.

I would expect a huge increase in Suppressor sales like we have seen in other states after permitting hunting with suppressors

It is expected that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will repeal the 1957 ban on hunting with a sound suppressor.

This change will remove the prohibition on the use of suppressed firearms for taking (hunting) deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

10 states have recently permitted hunting with suppressor and now there are 32 other states besides Florida that permit hunting of game animals with suppressors
If you are looking to purchase a suppressor in Florida, you should do so now because of what we have seen in other states as a direct result of permitting hunting with suppressors. Within the next week to ten days you may not be able to find an unsold suppressor in the state.

If you purchase a suppressor as an individual you must get a CLEO signature and fingerprints. If you use a Gun Trust, all that is required is a NICS check like with any other firearm. As many CLEOs in FL refuse to sign Form 4s, a Gun Trust is a great alternative and gives a lot of flexibility to those wanting to use TItle II firearms.

If you want to post a comment for the FWC staff about suppressors follow this LINK.

I received an email regarding a clarification of the previous version of this blog.
The email I received was to clarify what was happening and stated that there will be discussions with their Commissioners to let them know that they are taking a look at the issue of hunting GAME animals with a suppressor in Florida and plans to bring a draft rule change for the Commission’s consideration at the September Commission meeting.

At that time, the proposal would be to allow the use of suppressors for hunting Game animals. The hunting of Game animals in is permitted in a majority of states and Florida, which usually leads the nation in gun legislation, is clearly in the minority.

No action or decision on the issue will take place next week and it would likely be many months before such a rule change could become effective.

Remember that no action or decision will request from Commissioners on this issue next week, it is only to let the Commission know that the FFW, Division of Hunting and Game Management is thinking of making such a proposal in September.

Currently it is not legal to hunt Game animals with suppressors in Florida, but some hunting with suppressors is permitted in Florida. If you would like to know what is permitted, please see this article on Hunting in Florida with a Suppressor.

To answer this question you must look a the Florida Statutes and Florida Administrative code. While Florida Law does not specifically grant the right to use a suppressor while hunting in certain conditions, you must remember that laws do not grant rights they restrict them so by interpreting what rights you do not have, you can determine what is left.

In Florida there are four classifications of land:

  1. Wildlife Management Areas;
  2. Wildlife and Environmental Areas;
  3. Public land that are not classified as Wildlife Management Areas or Wildlife and Environmental Areas; and
  4. Private land.

You may not take GAME animals (mammals or birds) or Crows with a suppressor or a machine gun on any type of land. Per FAC 68A-12.002
You may not take wild hogs on Wildlife Management Areas and Wildlife Environmental Areas (per FAC 68A-15.004 and 68A-17.004), but can use a suppressor to take other non game animals such as furbearers unless prohibited to be hunted the area brochure or the area brochure prohibits the use of suppressors.

Game animals include Resident Game Birds, Resident Game mammals, Migratory Game Birds and Protected Mammals.

See http://myfwc.com/hunting/regulations/taking-game/

Neither Florida Law nor Florida Administrative Code restricts the use of suppressors (silencers), on private land, to take varmint, furbearers, non native game animals. In addition, suppressors can be used to take wild hogs on public land that is not classified as a Wildlife Management Area or Wildlife and Environmental Area.

Here are some definitions that will help make sense of these two statements.

  • Game birds –Wild turkey, quail, rails, snipe, woodcock, ducks, geese, brant, dove, coot, common moorhen, and non-native species generally considered a game such as pheasant, chukar partridge, and coturnix quail.
  • Resident game mammals –deer, gray squirrels and rabbits
  • Furbearers –bobcats, otters, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, beavers, skunks and nutrias
  • Migratory game birds –ducks, geese, common moorhens, coots, snipe, rails, woodcocks, mourning doves and white-winged doves
  • Protected mammals –Florida black bears, fox squirrels and Florida panthers cannot be taken or pursued.

Suppressors can be used on private land in Florida to take some animals as indicated above. Suppressors (silencers) should not be used to take any Game animal (mammal or bird) crow, or wild pig in a Wildlife Management Area or Wildlife and Environmental Area and non game animals (wild pigs or furbearers), may be taken on other public land that is not classified as a Wildlife Management Area or Wildlife and Environmental Area.

Yesterday, the Governor of Louisiana signed House Bill 186 into law. This law will legalize the use of suppressors while hunting for all game and non-game animals in the state of Louisiana. The law is effective August 1, 2014. The current trend in the United States is to legalize the use of suppressors while hunting. Over 30 states now permit the use of a suppressors while hunting either game or non-game animals. This year, three states, including Georgia and Alabama have legalized hunting with suppressors and give hunters the ability to protect their hearing.

The ASA reports that a similar measure is in progress in Ohio. Louisiana statute even allows for the use of suppressors while hunting non-game animals.

Under the National Firearms Act, an individual, trust, or business entity may purchase a suppressor. A Gun Trust is designed to allow for multiple people to be in possession of the suppressor which is not allowed with an individual purchase. In addition, a purchase by a Gun Trust can speed up the process by removing the necessity to obtain a CLEO sign-off and when the ATF brings back electronic filing, a Trust application for a Form 4 purchase from an FFL can be filed electronically which can reduce the time for approval.

A Gun Trust can be designed and used to purchase and own all types of firearms, even those not restricted by the NFA. To find out more about how a Gun Trust can help you, contact a Gun Trust Lawyer®

On Friday May 3rd, Alabama voted unanimously to repeal the prohibition of the possession and use of suppressors or silencers while hunting for all game and non-game animals. As of Friday, May 3rd, 2014, it became legal to possess and use a suppressor while hunting.

The majority of states now allow hunting with a suppressor. Alabama will be the 32nd and on July 1st Georgia will become the 33nd.

It shall be unlawful to possess fully automatic firearms or silenced firearms while hunting any species of wildlife.

Louisiana and Ohio have similar changes to the law in his works and it may become legal to use suppressors while hunting in those states later this year. Watch this blog for updates to other states regarding the use and possession of suppressors.

If you are thinking about purchasing a suppressor it is important to remember that only individuals, business entities, and trusts can purchase them. Of these there are many benefits to using a Gun Trust, which includes the ability to have multiple authorized users and the ability to help protect your family and friends from accidental transfers through actual or constructive possession as well as the ability to give someone the ability to determine when and if family members who survive you would be appropriate to receive the firearms restricted by the NFA.

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