On March 13, the state House Game, Fish and Parks Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 301. While no vote was taken on this legislation, multiple testimonies were given in support of hunting with suppressors in Georgia. State Senator John Bulloch (R-11), sponsor of SB 301, was the first to speak on behalf of this bill and used personal experiences to advocate for hunting with suppressors. Also, giving favorable testimonies were state Representative Chuck Williams (R-113), who spoke as a citizen; Kevin Brittingham, formerly of Advanced Armament Corporation; and Knox Williams of the American Silencer Association. SB 301 would allow hunters in Georgia 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.
Currently, more than half of the states across this country allow hunters to use suppressors while hunting and three other states (Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas) are currently considering similar legislation or changing their hunting regulations to allow their use. It’s time that hunters in Georgia are able to enjoy the same opportunities available to residents in more than half of the country.
SB 301 could come up for a vote as early as next week. Please contact members of the state House Game, Fish and Parks Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to support SB 301. Their contact information is provided below:
Representative Jon G. Burns (R-157), Chairman
Representative Stephen Allison (R-8), Vice-Chairman
Representative Sharon Beasley-Teague (D-65)
Representative Roger Bruce (D-64)
Representative Pam Dickerson (D-95)
Representative Elly Dobbs (D-53)
Representative Emory West Dunahoo (R-25)
Representative Rick Jasperse (R-12)
Representative David Knight (R-126)
Representative Tom McCall (R-30)
Representative Jimmy Pruett (R-144)
Representative Martin Scott (R-2)
Representative Jason Shaw (R-176)
Representative Jason Spencer (R-180)
Representative Al Williams (D-165)