Last week Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 186, which allows hunters to use suppressors when pursuing all game animals in the state. The law will take effect on August 1, making Louisiana the third state in 2014 to legalize suppressors for hunting. The governments of Georgia and Alabama have also approved similar legislation.

“This is about mitigating the noise and preventing hearing loss,” Louisiana Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie) told Capitol News Bureau.

Henry sponsored HB 186 to expand on a law that already allowed Louisiana hunters to take nuisance species with suppressors. Under the new law, hunters will be able to equip their rifles and shotguns with the devices to hunt all wild game. Supporters of HB 186 say that suppressors prevent hearing loss by mitigating the sound of gunshots. Other benefits include fostering better communication while in the field and causing less of a disturbance to land owners.

Critics claim that suppressors make it easier for poachers to illegally take game. Hikers and campers also worry that the muffled gunshots will make it harder to gauge whether there are hunters nearby. Supporters wave these worries aside, saying that gunshots with a suppressor are still loud—but simply much less damaging to the ears.

“The new law marks a major step in the right direction for hunters across the country who wish to protect their hearing,” the American Suppressor Association (ASA) wrote in a press release.

According to the ASA, 39 states in the nation permit suppressor ownership. Of those, 33 allow hunting of either all game or varmints. Actually purchasing a suppressor is a long process involving fingerprinting, pricey transfer taxes, and a lengthy approval process that can take several months.

A bill is currently under consideration in Ohio to allow the use of suppressors for hunting in that state as well.

Image courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

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9 thoughts on “Louisiana Governor Signs Bill Allowing Expanded Suppressor Use by Hunters

  1. suppressors are REQUIRED in Europe to reduce noise pollution by firearms. its is high time America comes up to speed on this issue

  2. Yep all of those hunters suffering ear damage, although in 50 years of hunting never yet met one, but silencer mfgs invested lots of money into nra and their lobby for this one. What a farce and insult to hunters for using thier names on this one.See them being sold for 22rf, now their is a REALLY loud gun and w must cut down the noise on them. Note odd the three states allowing silencers are at bottom of lists for education, HC, and other meaningful citizen social measurement, most of which do not have the funding of nra lobby. What a farce. As a landowner I want to know where and when shots fired near of on my property

    1. Fw, your ignorance is overwhelming. It’s just fact. Noises above a certain db level causes hearing loss. Every time. A suppressor decreases the db level by 25-32 db. The same as a good pair of ear plugs. You would have to be a little simple to not wear ear plugs at the gun range, so why not allow yourself the same protection when hunting?

      1. At least read the subject before you post so you know of what your are saying THE LAW WAS LAW was passed to supposedly “Save hunters hearing” nothing else. I have NEVER met a HUNTER with ear damage from hunting shots., Now talk about range issues and seen lots of fools with NO ear protections, and they even take their kids with none. If shooter does NOT wear hearing protection on range, to bad for them. But to claim this is protection for hunters and not scare those hearing shots, is iinsult to any hunter wit IQ above 10. Noted you dodged 22 issue, and just how many shots do you need when hunting, and if more then one needed, go practice and wear ear plugs when you do. This was nothing more then nra lobby money paid for by silencer (call them what they are) mfgs and used by wanna spl ops.. I own land and want to hear shot fired as have had poachers, the only one who wants or needs to use silencers. Wait until some weirdo with AR and silencer starts shooting and guess what pubic response will be as public increasingly fed up with gun nuts of any gun for BS

      2. fw, I’m one of those hunters with your imaginary hearing loss and all I can say is that it is about time! It’s apparent from your post that you have no idea what a suppressor really is and your ranting just proves your ignorance!
        You are perfectly capable of pointing out all that is wrong with the southern states, could it be that we are taking away some of your industry because of your backward liberal laws and regulations and so you have a chip on your shoulder?

      3. The fact is that every gun shot damages your hearing. Period. It’s something you can never get back. That one or two shots you take at a deer may seem innocent, but damage has been done. Sure the companies that make suppressors and the NRA have money riding on these laws. In case you havnt noticed, that’s how America works. If you think some nitwit poacher is gonna pay $1000 and wait 9 months to go poaching on your land, your a little out of touch with reality. Suppressors are nothing like what Hollywood makes them to be. Ignorance like yours is why the NRA has to spend so much money getting bills passed.

      4. Most likely you have not actually shot a firearm. It is sad to see trolls on sites like this that provide good information.

      5. fw you are a moron. I have damage to my left ear from 7mm Mag. My ear has been ringing & popping for 20 years. I am going to get a suppressor to hunt hogs at night. IF you are as wise as YOU think you ask yourself why?? Other than that S.T.F.U.

  3. Now if someone in Congress would pass a law removing suppressors from the ranks of machine guns and short barreled shotguns so we might could actually afford them!

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