On Friday, August 8, the following letter was sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Date: August 8, 2014
To: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
From: Marion P. Hammer
The National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida support the use of firearm suppressors for hunting.
Thirty-two other states allow hunting with suppressors and there is no legitimate reason for limiting their use in Florida.
Florida's ban was added to the regulations in August, 1957, with no legitimate justification, except that, at the time, Hollywood movies made suppressors, also called "silencers," synonymous with "machine guns," assassins and alcohol prohibition days.
While they do not eliminate or silence the sound of a firearm, suppressors do reduce the muzzle report of the gun much in the same way that a muffler reduces exhaust noise from a car or truck.
There are numerous benefits associated with the use of suppressors, including reduced noise pollution, increased accuracy due to reduced recoil and muzzle blast, and protection from hearing damage.
There are no known poaching incidents using a firearm suppressor that is registered under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, which is a branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE),
Those who claim that hunters who use suppressors to lower the sound will somehow become poachers or violate game limits are only exposing their bias and lack of understanding of the issue. Again, the majority of states allow hunting with suppressors and poaching with registered sound-suppressing devices simply doesn't happen.
I am compelled to question the ethics of any hunter or hunting groups who disparage the character of other law-abiding hunters by using such arguments — since most hunters would never contemplate such illegal activity.
Do these same opponents of suppressors claim that allowing archers to hunt with bows enables or facilitates poaching or the taking of illegal limits? After all, arrows are much more quiet than a suppressed firearm. In fact, arrows are virtually silent while suppressors are not.
Just as opponents of compound bows and crossbows tried to paint them as tools of evil intent, time has proven them just as wrong as they are now about suppressors.
Using firearm suppressors to lower noise is not only logical but it is effective in protecting hunters' hearing and increasing accuracy. It is an appropriate use of technology.
Increased use of suppressors will help to eliminate noise complaints, which have been used more frequently as an excuse to close shooting ranges, informal shooting areas and hunting lands throughout the country.
Again, the NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida support the use of firearm suppressors for hunting. We urge your support in removing this ban on hunting with suppressors from the outdated regulation.
Marion P. Hammer
National Rifle Association
Unified Sportsmen of Florida
To view a pdf copy of this letter of support, please click here.