On January 14, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will consider eliminating the current prohibition on hunting with legally possessed firearm sound suppressors. Following an NRC meeting last month in which the NRA, American Suppressor Association (ASA), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and other interested stakeholders provided information in support of this rule change, the NRC has decided to consider the issue at their next two meetings.
While the NRC’s willingness to consider the elimination of this outdated prohibition is welcome news for many sportsmen, your NRA has been made aware of a recent push to place unnecessary, nonsensical and unenforceable restrictions on the use of suppressors while hunting. Conceding that an absolute prohibition on hunting with a suppressor is unjustifiable, opponents are now advocating for placing a “decibel level reduction restriction” within the new rule. Aside from the fact that not one of the 37 states that currently allow hunting with suppressors has enacted such a restriction, this proposal would potentially subject law-abiding sportsmen to prosecution based on arbitrary and uncontrollable parameters.
There is absolutely no public safety justification for restricting the effectiveness of legally-owned suppressors while hunting. Any such restriction is solely intended to stifle a law-abiding sportsman’s ability to take advantage of the hunting and hearing safety benefits associated with suppressor technology. In the 37 states where hunting with a suppressor is legal, there is no evidence that permissible use has led to an increase in poaching or impaired a conservation officer’s ability to properly enforce game regulations.
Please email the commissioners of the NRC at NRC@michigan.gov and respectfully urge them to join the 37 other states that currently permit law-abiding sportsmen to use legally possessed suppressors while hunting, without a “decibel level reduction restriction.” A list of Commissioners can be found below.
The ownership, possession, and use of federally licensed suppressors is already legal in the state of Michigan for non-hunting purposes.
In recent years, the use of suppressors has seen significant growth as more shooters and sportsmen learn of their benefits. Evidence has shown that the use of suppressors fosters a safer and more enjoyable shooting and hunting experience for the following reasons:
- Suppressors protect against permanent hearing loss, one of the most commonly experienced hunting-related injuries, by decreasing the decibel level associated with muzzle blast;
- Suppressors increase shot accuracy by reducing noise and felt recoil, thereby mitigating trigger flinch and resulting in a more humane taking of game;
- Suppressors mitigate many of the hindrances associated with introducing newer generations to hunting, thereby helping to ensure the propagation of Michigan’s rich hunting heritage; and
- Suppressors benefit wildlife populations by decreasing stress and behavioral changes resulting from loud, widely audible firearm report.
For further updates, please stay tuned www.nraila.org and your email inbox.
Natural Resources Commission:
- Christine Crumbaugh
- Louise Klarr
- John Matonich
- Tim Nichols
- Vicki J. Pontz
- J. R. Richardson
- Rex E. Schlaybaugh, Jr.