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Indiana: NRA-Backed Pro-Hunting Bill Returns to the House for Concurrence Vote

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Last week, the NRA-backed legislation legalizing the use of suppressors for hunting was amended into another bill, due to a missed deadline by the House Public Policy Committee.  Senate Bill 243, previously reported here, was unable to survive last week’s committee report deadline and is now considered a dead bill.

However, the “hunting with suppressors” language from this bill is still alive and making its way through the Indiana General Assembly, thanks to the efforts of state Representative Sean Eberhart (R-57) and state Senators Ryan Mishler (R-9) and Travis Holdman (R-19).  These legislators worked together to add the language from SB 243 to Representative Eberhart’s Natural Resources Omnibus bill, House Bill 1279.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 49 to 0 to pass HB 1279 with the hunting with suppressors language included.  It has now been sent back to the state House where it awaits a concurrence vote.

The original language from SB 243, preserved in HB 1279, would allow Hoosiers to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting.  Currently, Indiana law permits use of suppressors for all shooting activities except for the taking of game.  Enactment of this language would ensure that hunting is treated the same way as other shooting activities with respect to the use of suppressors, and allow hunters to reap the many benefits suppressor use provides. 

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 silencers, please click here.

Please contact your state Representative TODAY and urge his or her support for House concurrence of HB 1279.

Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.  

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