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Wyoming Legislature Introduces Pro-Hunting Reform

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wyoming Senator Ogden Driskill (R-1) introduced a bill yesterday that would further expand the rights of hunters in the Cowboy State.  Senate File 132 would repeal the state prohibition on hunting with sound suppressors (which are additionally regulated under federal law) while providing additional penalties for those who use them illegally.

An identical version of this legislation was introduced earlier in the state House as House Bill 5.  However, the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee defeated it this week by a vote that was neither announced nor made public.  Senator Driskill drafted this bill to accomplish what HB 5 was supposed to do before it was unfairly dismissed.

Currently, more than half of the states across the country allow hunters to use suppressors.  Recently Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas adopted new rules allowing for use of suppressors when hunting game.  It’s time that hunters in Wyoming are able to enjoy the same opportunities available to sportsmen in more than half of the country. For more information on firearms and suppressors, click here.

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.

SF 132 has yet to be assigned to a Senate committee for further consideration.  However, please call your Senator and urge him or her to support SF 132.  Be sure to check NRA-ILA’s Wyoming page for more updates.   To find your Senator’s contact information, please click here.



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