The Wyoming Senate Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee voted 4 to 1 in favor of a pro-hunting reform authored by Senator Ogden Driskill (R-1). 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. This bill is now eligible for a vote in the full Senate. A date for this Senate floor vote has not been scheduled at this time but please call and e-mail your state Senator urging him or her to vote in favor of this meaningful hunting improvement legislation! Your senator’s contact information can be found here.
An identical version of this legislation was introduced earlier this month in the state House as House Bill 5. However, the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee defeated it by a vote that was neither announced nor made public. Senator Driskill introduced SF 132 to accomplish what HB 5 was supposed to do before it was unfairly dismissed.
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. 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.
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.
Thank you to those who contacted members of the Senate Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee, and to the Senators who voted to expand the rights of law-abiding sportsmen. Your NRA-ILA will continue to update you once a date is scheduled for the Senate’s final action on SF 132. In the meantime, please continue to call and encourage your state senator to support this meaningful hunting improvement legislation! Your senator’s contact information can be found here.