State Considers Allowing Silencers For Game Hunters

semi automatic 93286146 State Considers Allowing Silencers For Game Hunters

Semi-automatic assault style rifles on display at a gun show. (credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a tool you may have only seen used by bad guys in big screen blockbusters. An effort is underway though to allow Texas hunters to use firearm silencers as they hunt for game.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is proposing a rule change that would allow silencers, or supressors, for alligators, game animals and game birds. The tools are banned right now over concern their use might lead to poaching, or an increase in harvest numbers.

“We don’t have any evidence to support either of those arguments,” said Scott Vaca, the assistant chief of wildlife enforcement with the TPWD.

At Military Gun Supply in Fort Worth Wednesday, Steve Hunt carefully threaded a suppressor on to a 22-caliber rifle. The shots he fired from it were not silent. The loud crack, and report though from a typical shot was gone.

“It doesn’t make your gun super deadly or anything like that,” he said. “It’s just like a muffler, a muffler on a car.”

Hunt is encouraged by the possibility of an increase in business with a rule change. Supressors though are still notoriously hard to buy.

Costs range from several hundred to sever thousand dollars. After paying for the item, buyers must fill out several pages of paperwork that is sent to the ATF. It includes their picture, fingerprint, a $200 tax and a signature from the local police chief or sheriff.

Some shop owners told CBS11 law enforcement in some counties refuse to sign the paperwork. If you do get everything you need it can still be six to nine months before you are approved to pick up the suppressor. The process has to be repeated for each additional tool. Hunt said the process deters 80-percent of interested buyers.

It doesn’t deter gun owners like John Vincent from wanting one.

“The whole original purpose was before we had earplugs and ear muffs was to keep the noise down so people could shoot a lot,” he said, while shooting at Target Master in Garland.

Supressors can be legally used in Texas right now to hunt nuisance animals.

The TWPC is taking public comment on the proposed change through March 28

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  • Coriolana Sinta

    I’ve always known Texas was crazy. I had no idea that they were psychotic.

    • twang

      You must be an !d!ot

    • Willford


    • JOSE0311USMC


  • dennis dehart

    With all the latest hunting equipment the skill of the hunt is lost. They may as well tie the animal up to a tree and shoot it. If hunters really wanted to be sportsmen they would hand make their own bow & chip their own arroheads for hunting. Then when they said they killed a deer they had really done something to brag about.

    • Heather

      HONESTLY???? I freeze my butt off hiking through knee deep snow every weekend I can find a sitter for my kids only to come home empty handed most of the time. I walk more during hunting season then I do the rest of the year. So when I say I killed something to feed my family, yes I’m going to brag about it.

    • twang

      Obviously you have no idea what your talking about

  • Keagan

    I would really appreciate suppressors for range and target use, earplugs suck. But, for hunting I don’t think its necessary. Most bullets are super sonic anyway so putting a suppressor on a hunting rig isnt going to give any advantage to a hunter unless he were to miss.

  • twang

    Suppressor dont make a gun SILENT,they dont give you an advantage, There is still a sonic boom. It just cuts down on the noise allittle. Europe has always used them.

    • Paul

      to improve on your knowledge base if you reload your own rounds and a lot of people do you can reduce to load to where the bullet is now sub sonic (travling below the speed of sound) and the bullet will not create a sonic boom making the gun about as a person breaking wind. Yes I do reload and hunt and enjoy as far as this goes I am against it there is no need for one in the field. Now in the urban enviorment yup I can see them real popluar there.

      • Tim

        @USMC TOP

        I hunt with them too and your right. unless you have a moderated pistol-sized round, there will still be noise. Most people think that they quiet the round down to just a whisper but unless you build or shoot sub sonic loads, it won’t help much.

      • USMC_TOP

        Still not silent. I have suppressors for all my weapons because i love to shoot but hate the noise. It’s still loud wherther you are using s subsonic load or not but the neighbors are much happier.

      • tim

        Agreed. for most hunting situations, there is no need for a supressed weapon. I can get within range easy enough and my target isn’t worried about the crack of the sonic boom.

        In more urban enviroments and other specific situations, a moderator can be of some use.

  • lsn2me

    the will be alot more bullets flying around. just what we need, right?

    • Willford


    • tim

      How will there be more bullets flying around? Same number of guns still out there. People can already purchase moderators so this is really a non-issue.

    • JOSE0311USMC


    • MFN

      Ignorance is bliss….

  • navyvet8192

    I think it’s a great idea, especially for hog and racoon hunters. It allows the hunter to hunt the game without spooking it as much.

    • bs

      Suppressors are already legal for hogs as they are a non-game non-protected species, and many do hunt hogs with suppressors, particularly for night hunting. All this ruling will do is extend suppressor use to deer and other protected game species and make things a little quieter during hunting seasons.

  • Willford


    • Tim

      I know. The media loves to sensationalize things. Moderators can be put on bolt action rifles as well. They just want to people to think that people only hunt with rifles like the ones pictured.

  • Ron

    There are all kinds of guns falling into the hands of criminals right now. Doing this will only make silencers available to them too.

    • tim

      They already are available. The article is talking about allowing silencers to be used for certain types of animals.

  • Free2Kill

    Not just no but H_ll no to silencers for any reason or any game hunting of any type.
    No true hunter has ever needed a silencer unless they are hunting 2 legged varmits that can easily kill them and that can only legally be done in our military or by police.
    If the noise bothers you then quit hunting, your not man or women enough to do it. If your hunting to close to other people then that should be totally out-lawed in the first place since to many people end up getting shot by drunks or negligent hunters. Yes not all hunters are bad, but just like not all people get drunk and drive it’s your bad apples that spoil the barrel.
    The only way we have of knowing where a shot comes from is via the direction of sound. My barn, my livestock and I deserve to know where these idiots are and not just hear the pings of the bullets.
    Maybe when we have 1 game warden per every 3 miles so when someone reports violators they can be taken down then you can pretend your a mighty hunter. As it stands right now I’ve heard shots before sunup and after sundown, thus you do not deserve to have silencers until you police up your own idiots.

    • Donald

      It’s not our job to police bad apples,poachers and drunks and idiot farmers.All hunters appreciate a silencer after they shoot with one. They save hearing and help not to spook the neighbors, especially on the gun range. A person can target shoot without wearing ear plugs. Helps stop people from flinching also.

    • tim

      For the most part, hunters don’t need silencers but there are times when you do. I wouldn’t lump you together with all the bad farmrers so don’t lump me in with the bad hunters. If you don’t like hunting fine. if you don’t allow hunters on your land, that is your perogative.

  • Donald

    TV has made it appear that a suppressor makes a gun silent. On tv, every crook has a suppressed military weapon. We are talking about selling these to legal firearm owners, not crooks on tv. Tv is bs…hunting is not.Hunting is about population control of animals not hunting humans. So the tv crook idea doesn’t apply here. And after dark shooting is likely hog hunting to keep wild hog populations from destroying farmland, not deer poachers hunting illegally!

  • DIVA

    Suppressors are currently legal, but one must comply with the rules in order to purchase them. The author states you must go through the entire process for each suppressor — I don’t think that is correct. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but by establishing a living trust, I can purchase as many as I’d like and do not need a local LEO signature. Thoughts?

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