Saturday, June 11, 2016

NH: Governor Hassan Signs the Silencer Hunting Bill

Governor Maggie Hassan, (D) New Hampshire, has signed HB 500 the bill that legalizes hunting with silencers in New Hampshire. From the American Silencer Association:
The American Suppressor Association is proud to announce that after 3 years and a lot of teamwork, suppressor hunting is now legal in the Granite State! Earlier today, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed Rep. John Burt’s (R-Hillsborough)HB 500 into law, making New Hampshire the 40th state to legalize suppressor hunting. We could not be more proud to have been part of the team that got this bill introduced, passed through both houses of the legislature, and finally signed into law!
From the HB 500:
1 Title. This act shall be known as the “The Hunters Hearing Protection Act.”

2 Findings. The legislature finds that:

I. Firearm suppressors lessen the report of a firearm by approximately 30 decibels, thereby allowing hunters to more fully enjoy and participate in the sport.

II. Hunting with sound suppressors will help to lessen the hearing damage many hunters suffer from.

III. Hunting with a sound suppressor allows new, inexperienced hunters to hunt without ear plugs or ear muffs enabling them to hear important instructions from their mentors (parents, grandparents, or other responsible adults) who are hunting with them.

IV. Suppressors decrease the chance of asymmetrical hearing loss or shooters ear.

V. Hunting with suppressors lessens the ambient noise heard by neighbors who may be on adjoining property where hunting is taking place. While it does reduce the noise level of a firearm, the firearm is still loud enough so that a neighbor will know someone is shooting.

VI. In the 34 states that allow some form of hunting with suppressors not a single state has moved to repeal this practice. It makes for safer shooting and better neighbors.

VII. Firearm suppressors are heavily regulated by the federal government, which requires a $200 tax be paid, a background check conducted, fingerprints be given, sign off by a local chief law enforcement officer, and approximately a 9-month wait to get the paperwork completed before taking possession of a suppressor. This virtually guarantees that abuses with legally owned suppressors are extremely rare.

The growth in the use and popularity of suppressors has, politically, been like the sprouting of mushrooms after a rainstorm in the spring.  Everything necessary has been there, waiting.  And this is just the beginning.  There are likely a million legal silencers, suppressors, or gun mufflers, whatever you wish to call them, in the United States at this time.  The demand has been suppressed because of idiotic laws passed in the 1930s, as "progressives" demanded more control over everything related to guns.  The laws never had a good reason for existence, but the burdensome taxes and irrational regulations managed to chill the natural demand for gun mufflers.  Even with that horrible burden, the number of legal suppressors is growning exponentially.

In most countries of the world, silencers are easier to own and use than firearms.  If you can own a firearm, owning a suppressor is not a problem.

U.S. legislators are being educated about the insanity of current U.S. law.  If Donald Trump is elected President, it is likely that current law will be reformed. The proposed reform would put silencers in the same legal category as rifles and shotguns, instead of being treated like artillery and land mines.  When the requirements to own a silencer no longer takes mounds of paperwork, nine month wait times, and $200 in taxes for a $100 product, silencer ownership will skyrocket.

The Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 3799, is unlikely to pass this year.  Proponents believe that President Obama would veto it.  It is a very simple bill:
To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns.
Representative Matt Salmon from Arizona introduced the bill.

In Europe, silencers are treated as the safety devices they are.  A way to reduce noise pollution and to safeguard hearing.  They use is encouraged, and sometimes required.   That commonsense approach is coming to the United States.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I believe there is an extreme difference between a silencer and a suppressor. Silencers are required to be licensed not suppressors. Suppressors limit the report of the fire arm , silencers almost eliminate the report.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the technical development of silencers has been slowed by these restrictions? That is, while advances have been made, I wonder if there are some truly impressive noise suppression technologies in the future? Even an Active Noise Control system could be used, that creates "destructive interference" (equal and opposite) of the sound produced by the gun. Since that sound is the same every time, it would be easier to cancel. Perhaps a perpendicular rod with two speakers on it, near the end of the barrel.