A bill that would allow Ohio hunters to use suppressors in taking game is now headed to the state House after passing a legislative committee earlier this week. According to The Columbus Dispatch, only about one percent of the state’s hunters possess a suppressor, also known as silencers. If the bill passes, however, the number my rise dramatically. Industry insiders have said that Ohio is the fourth largest market for suppressor sales in the nation.
Supporters of the bill say that suppressors will protect hunters’ hearing and make it easier to talk while in the field. Researchers from Ohio State University say that on average, a suppressor decreases the volume of a gunshot by at least 15 percent. While it may seem only a small drop, it can be significant in preventing hearing damage.
Not all sportsmen are supporting the bill, however. The League of Ohio Sportsmen’s Executive Director, Larry Mitchell, Jr., told The Dispatch that the measure was “a bad bill with good intentions.” Mitchell explained that the bill starts a dangerous precedent for lawmakers to make decisions for the state Department of Natural Resources. Others oppose the bill because they believe suppressors make it easier for poachers to shoot game.
Currently 29 states allow hunting with a suppressor.