Two NRA-backed hunting bills have made big strides in Arizona this week. Yesterday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law House Bill 2640, which passed in both houses by large bipartisan majorities and will eliminate restrictions on the magazine capacity of any authorized firearm regulated by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. Also, House Bill 2728, which would allow hunters in Arizona to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting, has passed out of the Committee of the Whole and is now eligible for a vote in the full Senate.
HB 2640, introduced by state Representative Jerry Weiers (R-12), will allow more hunters to enter the field while preventing them from having to purchase additional, smaller-capacity magazines. The ability to hunt with any authorized firearm, regardless of its capacity, is a simple, common-sense idea. 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 will help solve this growing problem.
Enactment of HB 2728, introduced by state Representative David Gowan (R-30), would give hunters the option to use legal, government-authorized sound suppressors. 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.
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.
Currently, more than half of the states across the country allow hunters to use suppressors while hunting and three other states (Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas) are currently considering similar legislation or are changing their hunting regulations to allow their use. It’s time that hunters in Arizona are able to enjoy the same opportunities available to residents in more than half of the country. For more information on firearms and suppressors, click here.
Please contact your state senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support HB 2728. To find your Senator’s contact information, please click here.
Thank you to legislators who voted for HB 2640 and to Governor Brewer for signing the bill into law. To contact Governor Brewer’s office and thank her for signing HB 2640, please click here.