Arizona: Two Pro-Hunting Bills Clear Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted on March 6, 2012

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Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed two NRA-backed pro-hunting bills.  By a 6 to 2 vote, the committee gave “do pass” recommendations to both House Bill 2728, hunting with suppressors legislation, and House Bill 2640, legislation to eliminate magazine capacity restrictions when hunting. 

Enactment of HB 2728, introduced by state Representative David Gowan (R-30), would allow hunters in Arizona to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting. 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), 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.

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. For more information on firearms and suppressors, click here.

HB 2640, introduced by state Representative Jerry Weiers (R-12) eliminates limits or restrictions on the magazine capacity of any authorized firearm for the use of taking wildlife.  The ability to hunt with any authorized firearm, regardless of its capacity, will allow more hunters to enter the field while preventing them from having to purchase additional, smaller-capacity magazines.  In addition, increased magazine size has become essential for self-defense while in remote areas because of the increased presence of drug smugglers and criminals on Arizona’s hunting lands.  Hunters should not be prohibited from adequately defending themselves and HB 2640 would solve this growing problem. 

While both of these bills have yet to be scheduled for Senate floor consideration at this time, please begin contacting your state Senator TODAY and encourage him or her to support both HB 2728 and HB 2640.  Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

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