By The Small Arms Review Editorial Staff
Posted on March 29, 2012
Today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2728 into law. This important hunting bill will allow hunters in Arizona to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting. HB 2728 passed in the state House on February 28 by a 42 to 14 vote and in the state Senate on Tuesday by a 20 to 9 vote.
Enactment of HB 2728, introduced by state Representative David Gowan (R-30), will provide hunters the option to use legally-owned sound suppressors while hunting game. Currently, more than half of the states across the country allow hunters to use suppressors while hunting and two other states (Georgia and Oklahoma) are currently considering similar legislation to allow their use. Recently, Texas also adopted a new rule allowing for use of suppressors when hunting game. It’s time that hunters in Arizona are able to enjoy the same opportunities available to sportsmen in more than half of the country.
Noise complaints are being used more frequently as an excuse to close shooting ranges, informal shooting areas, and hunting lands throughout the country. Increased use of suppressors will help to eliminate many of these complaints and protect hunting and shooting areas well into the future.
In order to acquire a suppressor, a purchaser must submit the appropriate paperwork to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives where long wait times for approval are unfortunately common (four to six months). Also, purchasers must undergo a background check by the FBI, find a licensed dealer authorized to conduct the transaction and pay a one-time $200 tax for each device. While suppressors do not eliminate the sound of a firearm, they do reduce the muzzle report in a manner similar to the way that a muffler reduces exhaust noise from a vehicle. The benefits associated with suppressor use include increased accuracy due to reduced recoil and muzzle blast, protection from hearing damage and reduced noise pollution.
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