On September 1, 2012, a new regulation allowing hunters in the state of Texas to use suppressors while pursuing game animals will go into effect. With the passage of the new rule by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWD) on March 30, Texas became the second state in 2012 to legalize suppressor use while hunting. In 2012, similar measures were also passed legislatively in Arizona and Oklahoma.
“These devices are already legal for hunting exotic animals, including feral hogs, and there is no resource- or enforcement-related reason to prohibit these devices for hunting alligators, game animals or game birds,” Scott Vaca, TPWD Assistant Chief of Wildlife Enforcement, said in a statement released on March 30.
Contrary to popular belief, suppressors, also referred to as silencers, do not render gunshots inaudible. However, often times they do reduce the report of a firearm to hearing safe levels, helping to protect the shooter and those nearby from permanent hearing damage.
In order for a civilian to purchase a suppressor, they must live in one of the 39 states that allow civilian ownership. All applicants must submit an ATF Form 4, in duplicate, to the National Firearms Act Branch of the ATF for each suppressor purchased. A Form 4, or Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm, includes a stringent background check that is conducted by the FBI. In addition, applicants must submit a $200 payment for the transfer tax, duplicate copies of passport photos and fingerprints, and receive a signoff from a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) in their jurisdiction. From start to finish, this transfer process takes anywhere from 30 days to one year to complete.
The American Silencer Association would like to congratulate Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma for enacting their new laws and regulations. The ASA will continue to work off of their momentum to push for additional suppressor regulatory reform in those states which do not allow civilian ownership or suppressor use while hunting.
Logo courtesy American Silencer Association