COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio House has approved a bill that would allow hunters in Ohio to use silencers on their guns while hunting certain game.
Supporters of the devices say they protect hunters’ hearing, make field commands easier to hear and reduce disruptions to neighbors.
“In the more than 30 states that have already authorized their use, noise suppressors on firearms have shown to be safe and effective. There have been cases where the absence of a suppressor has led to hearing damage in hunters. This bill simply reduces the likelihood of that happening,” said Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City), who co-sponsored the legislation with Rep. John Becker (R-Union Twp.).
Grossman says the Ohio Speech and Hearing Governmental Affairs Coalition, representing over 3,500 speech and hearing healthcare professionals across Ohio, testified in favor of the bill, saying they believed it would protect hunters’ hearing health.
Opponents say quieter weapons are less safe and easier to use illegally.
Representatives voted 73-14 to pass the bill Wednesday and sent it on to the Senate.
The bill would allow licensed Ohio hunters to use the silencers while hunting certain birds and other wild game, including squirrels, rabbits and deer. Only those authorized under state and federal laws could use the suppressor, which must be properly registered.
A House committee approved the bill last month with bipartisan support after lawmakers examined the devices and listened to silenced and unsilenced weapons.