Skip to comments.You Could be Hunting with a Silencer Soon in Texas
Posted on 03/05/2012 8:49:49 AM PST by marktwain
Without making much noise, a new proposal is headed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. If it passes, hunters in the state will be able to use a silencer when hunting deer, birds, and other game animals.The Parks and Wildlife Department says the rule change is primarily about protecting hunters hearing and maintaining the tranquility of the outdoors.
Some neighbors dont want to hear gunshots, and theyre less likely to hear or be disturbed by gunshots through a firearm with a suppressor or silencer attached, Scott Vaca, TPWD Assistant Chief of Wildlife Enforcement, told StateImpact Texas.
Just how quiet is a firearm with a silencer or suppressor attached? Well, if you dont happen to have the equipment at home, you can watch this video to hear the difference a silencer can make.
A silencer doesnt make it completely silent, whenever you still use your normal .223 ammo or your .22 ammo or whatever. But it quiets it down quite a bit, Don Steele, a guide who leads hunting tours in the state, told StateImpact Texas.
Silencers are already allowed in the state for hunting feral hogs (an invasive species that the state is willing to do almost anything to control) and hog hunting is something Steele has a lot of experience with. Despite what Parks and Wildlife says, he says silencers can be useful for more than just ear protection.
You have an opportunity when you miss to shoot a few more times without everything scattering, running off, he said.
But you need more than just the silencer to get that advantage. You need the silencer and special ammunition.
When you use your subsonic ammo, whether its .308 .223, .22, the only thing you hear is the action of the rifle. You dont hear the bullet, said Steele.
In case your curios, Heres a video of an AR 15 being fired with a silencer and subsonic ammunition. As the person who uploaded the video writes, the report of the gun is quieter than the steel being hit at 100 yards.
Opponents of the rule change argue that a bullet is exactly the sort of thing that people should able to hear.
I think there should be concerns across the spectrum, from people who are engaging in legitimate hunting activity and who are not able to hear the report of rifle fire from a hunter, or hunters who are not in their group and who dont have that warning, Ladd Everitt, a spokesperson with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told StateImpact Texas. And then moving everywhere from people hunting on lands theyre not supposed to be, to people using these things for activities their not supposed to.
In fact, the fear that it could encourage poaching is one of the reasons why most hunting with a silencer is currently prohibited in Texas. But Parks and Wildlifes Scott Vaca says the Department has no actual data to show that silencers pose a risk.
We did receive a petition for rule-making to do away with the current prohibition, and since we didnt have any data to support that it was a poaching issue or a resource concern, we went forward with the current proposal, said Vaca.
Good activism by somebody. Have it legal for hunting invasive wild pigs. No problems. Extend the benefits to all hunting. No problems. More people use silencers, and wonder why the federal government requires a $200 tax and months of paperwork to regulate this ear saving bit of safety equipment, when in much of europe, it is as easy to buy as a hearing protector.
Vaca added that the purchase of silencers is costly and strictly regulated by the federal government.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is now taking public comment on the proposal, and will be holding hearings on the plan through this month.
The Parks and Wildlife Commission will review those comments at its March 28th meeting. The commission is expected to vote on the rule change on March 29th.
I was going to say the same thing. In Europe, I think they’re almost mandatory at shooting clubs. It’s one of those false issues where perceptions are formed from watching too many movies.
This way, when some jerk takes a pot shot and kill sombody sitting in their house they’ll be even less evidence ... Oh, a night time shining, out of season hunting, and poaching is about to go through the roof
They’re “suppressors”, not silencers. Gawd I hate the media...
Wait, you mean a .308 won't be just above the sound of a hummingbird fart with a silencer? Dang those foley "artists".
You can imagine how surprised I was that my semi-auto pistol didn't require me to rack the slide or cock the hammer every time I moved in and out of a shooting position. I mean, every time they blink, something goes click or cha-chink.
As if the law abiding people who went through the hassle and paperwork of buying a Class III item would be likely to do those things. That looks like a reply that whould be seen at the Daily Kos of Huffington Post.
Oh ya, it’s all about hear protection, right .... what a joke
Every movie you’ve ever seen is wrong. “Silencers” don’t make a gun quite, or un-hearable. The only reason they are illegal is because people have more experience with movie guns than real guns.
See post 10.
This story has nothing to do with jets, and they have head sets that allow you speak and hear everything as they allow normal sound through but cut-off the 2nd a gunshot is fired and you don’t even hear the shot, I’ve tried them, they work.
Silencers are a bad idea, will lead to more anti-gun people, and I am pro-gun, and dead set against this idiot idea.
Suppressors aren't "illegal". They are heavily taxed and restricted by NFA '34.
And the only reason they were restricted by NFA '34 is they were just one more "evil" item added to NFA '34, to get votes from Congressmen that should have known better.
As others have noted, suppressors are very common in Europe. In some places, they are encouraged. It's simply being a good neighbor.
All a suppressor does is reduce the noise footprint of a firearm. Reduce is the key word here -- it does not eliminate it. It can make the difference between whether you annoy a neighbor, or not disturb them at all.
Isn't poaching against the law? What do you think about making illegal to carry a pry bar, in order to prevent burglaries?
Suppressors are hard or expensive to make, but require a special license and hefty fees to purchase legally. What do you think the odds are of someone doing that to poach?
The only common round that can be effectively quieted is a subsonic one. So high-powered deer rifles are still loud.
Are you experiencing a lot of air rifle and archery related deaths and poaching? If not, I wonder why, they are very quiet.
So, here comes the day I put a silencer on my 30-378; how does it affect my muzzle velocity. I don’t think I could live without 3400 fps.
Silencers generally do not affect muzzle velocity. At the low end, some see a slight increase in velocity, and for some designs, the barrel is ported to decrease pistol rounds to a subsonic level.
Silencers, or suppressors, (more generally, gun mufflers) do not reduce muzzle velocity. Accuracy is maintained or slightly increased, if the silencer is working properly.
“Oh ya, its all about hear protection, right .... what a joke”
No, it’s also about preserving the environment for everyone to enjoy. If I go hunting on my 20 acres and my hippy neighbor constantly irritates the crap out of me every time he hears a report, he will be happier as will I. The other wildlife also remains undisturbed. Oh, and yes, it protects hearing. Those freaking headphones are expensive and uncomfortable.
Now go back to watching about dangerous silencers or movies.
“That’s a Smith & Wesson, and you’ve had your six.”
(How do you spell bang! bang! when suppressed?)
Again, it's not a silencer. It's a suppressor.
A properly designed suppressor won't have much effect on your muzzle velocity.
However, it will only reduce the noise footprint of expanding gases as they exit the barrel. It won't reduce the supersonic "crack" of the bullet traveling at 3400 fps.
5 Ridiculous Gun Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies)
“If you can’t watch the video, let us sum it up: It still sounds like a freaking handgun. It does not make a soft ‘phut’ that you could mistake for a kitten landing on a pillow.
“An unsilenced gunshot is around 140 to 160 decibels—that’s in the range where hearing it once can permanently damage your ears. If you’ve never had a gun go off next to you, trust us when we say it’s loud enough that your whole body will flinch at the sound of it. A silencer can get that all the way down to 120 or 130 decibles, aka the sound of a jackhammer. Still loud enough to cause physical pain if it’s close enough to you.
“So a silencer really just makes a large gun sound like a smaller gun. If you’re James Bond and are sneaking into the enemy’s compound with a silenced pistol, you’re basically hoping the guards will decide your gun is too small and wimpy to be a serious threat, and leave you be.”
Typical liberal response. No facts, just a stupid knee-jerk reaction.
I don’t know what makes you so stupid but it really works.
I don’t need facts to know that suppressor and or silencers are a bad idea, they will be used for a massive increase in poaching, it will end up in more deaths, they are a bad idea.
Gun nutz can go screw yourselves, I own guns, this is a bad idea, so byte me.
And as someone stated before...not ANYONE can get a suppressor. You have to have a different class license and it costs a lot of money to get that license. So...if you are going to get one ILLEGALLY...you are probably going to break OTHER laws...like poach. If you are going to go through the HASSLE of obtaining one...it is HIGHLY unlikely you are going to jeopardize it all by poaching.
Your comments follow NO logic whatsoever.
Well then, why don’t you guys in your state stop the flow of illegals into my state as long as we’re on keeping out of others business. You’re state is immensely harming my state. Don’t mess with Texas? Really, how about come right in we got a welcoming hand ...
Sometimes, what another state allows to happen hurts other states, that’s just the way it is ...
Possession of an illegal silencer = 10 years federal prison.
Possession of a legal silencer > $500 + intense federal scrutiny.
Anyone poaching with an illegal silencer will get far harsher punishment for having the illegal silencer than for poaching.
Anyone owning a legal silencer is unlikely to risk it by poaching.
Hunting with silencers, both legally, is not a problem and has many benefits.
Your comments are inane.
Since the laws about owning and purchasing a suppressor are not changing, or proposed to change, why would this make a change.
The law abiding hunter will be allowed to use them, if they complete the federal registry and pay the tax.
The law breaking hunter would be using them today. The rules to acquire them are not changing.
So...answer these questions...if you dare:
1) Since this law will only impact those who can LEGALLY own suppressors, what about it will ALL OF THE SUDDEN turn them into poachers?
2) Those possess suppressors now, but don't have the class of license necessary for it (in other words...law breakers) may or may not be poaching. WHAT will cause them to all of the sudden start poaching at an increased rate?
3) How would NOT passing a law impact the second group's activities? Wouldn't they do it either way?
4) What guns do you own? How often do you shoot? Do you hunt? If so, for what and how often?
Should motorcycles be forbidden from having mufflers? straight pipes only?
If things change, you can find them right next to the box of scruples.
In Europe, where hunting using suppressors is a nearly universal requirement, they have escaped this massive wave of poaching and death you elude to. What gives?
Author's Note: During the preparation of this article a very real negative stigma attached to the loading of quiet ammunition by civilians was revealed. Ironically most handloaders have no issue with building bigger and faster cartridges. Which is more lethal; the subsonic rifle with a limited range and non-expanding bullet or the large magnum rifle able to engage targets at a mile with polymer tipped bullets that disintegrate explosively? Subsonic loads are another facet of reloading that do not render a firearm any more or less deadly.
Irrationality abounds. As the saying goes, if you see a turtle on a post, you can bet it didn't get there on its own. And likewise, some opinions are put in people's heads without them having anything to do with it.
No effect on muzzle velocity. Will eliminate muzzle blast, reduce recoil, and may improve accuracy.
Stalin and Hitler owned books. How does that correlate to their views on freedom of speech?
Good grief. First of all...there WERE 1200 National Guardsmen on the Border up until late last year with the administration cut the budget. 1200. This is a NATIONAL...FEDERAL issue. What has your state contributed?
Second...if push EVER comes to shove in this country...you and your little "gun nutz" self are gonna want US first and foremost....AND YOU KNOW IT. And you know what...I BET the first thing you'd ask me is if I brought my suppressor.
And your understanding of a Republic of equal states is exactly what?
Getting a supressor requires a $200 transfer tax, criminal background check, sign off from local sheriff or other chief law enforcement officer, fingerprinting, federal registration, and garners 10 years in prison if you screw any of it up.
Like licensed handgun owners, “NFA” owners are among the most law-abiding of all citizens precisely because they went thru extensive legal hoops to get the item, are well known to hostile police agencies, and face severe punishment if they ever abuse what they own. Suppressor owners are not people likely to poach.
Those who are likely to poach are already keen on illegal acts, and are not concerned with whether legal hunting with legal silencers is legal, when what they want to do is illegal hunting by any means necessary.
Your reasoning is akin to anti-gun idiots who think making handguns legal thru intense licensing will increase muggings & murders.
Well then, why dont you guys in your state stop the flow of illegals into my state as long as were on keeping out of others business.
Sounds like that’s your state’s problem. Fess up and take care of it.
“This way, when some jerk takes a pot shot and kill sombody sitting in their house theyll be even less evidence ... Oh, a night time shining, out of season hunting, and poaching is about to go through the roof”
How does this law change anything involved in that scenario? The legality of silencers does not change. The legality of taking pot shots does not change. The legality of poaching does not change. The only thing that changes is that legal hunting with legal silencers would be legal, which has nothing to do with the crimes you impute.
You liberal idiots said concealed weapons would lead to people shooting each other at accident scenes or in shopping malls. That didn’t happen either, genius.
You liberal idiots said raising the speed limit from 55 to 75 would leave millions dead on the roads. That didnt happen either.
You liberal idiots said if we banned CFCs that the ozone hole would magically go away. It didnt.
You liberal idiots said all kinds of emotionally driven drivel that never happened, proving yourselves to be thumb sucking bed wetters that know nothing but claim everything.
You liberals are simply idiots and are unable to handle life.
If you really do own guns, you shouldn’t. The emotionally unstable are supposed to not own firearms.
Germans seem to like them. Here's one for your 155mm.
Let’s see if the law passes, then, in 3 or 5 years I think we’ll see I was correct on this.
A scientific approach. Good.
We are close to passing such a law in Arizona as well. Oregon was also considering a similar bill. Perhaps there is some state in which it is already law. It is very likely that we will have an answer for you soon. We know that there have not been problems in Europe, but it would be nice to have confirmation in the U.S.
It is always nice to see someone who is willing to be convinced by evidence.
Link to schedules of public hearings.
Silencers are legal for hunting in 12 states already. None of them report the problems that you are concerned about. The states are:
Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
It appears that I was wrong about suppressor hunting legislation pending in Oregon. It is pending in Indiana, Georgia, and Arizona as well as Texas.
Here is the link where I found the states where it is already legal to hunt with a legal silencer:
“Lets see if the law passes, then, in 3 or 5 years I think well see I was correct on this.”
How about we look at the states where hunting with suppressors is already legal? No need to wait.
Funny, they don’t seem in a hurry to ban/repeal hunting with silencers. In fact, several more states are well on their way to allowing it as well (go Georgia!), and more allow it under various limitations.
Our lists may differ because the legal meaning of “legal to hunt with a silencer” may vary depending on how each state squints at the issue, ranging from simple don’t-care ignoring of the issue to complex quadruple-negative multi-section interactions (like how NY bans firearms outright, then defines rifles as not firearms). Upshot is at least half the states allow hunting with silencers under at least some conditions.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.