Today, ASA backed House Bill 234 takes effect. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-23) and Rep. John Becker (R-65), repeals the prohibition on the use of legally possessed suppressors while hunting in Ohio. Lawmakers consolidated a number of pro-gun amendments into the bill, including a “Shall Sign” provision which will require Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) to process NFA applications in the same manner as CHL licenses.
With the enactment of the new law, Ohio becomes the 35th state to allow hunters to use legally possessed suppressors in the field. Last year, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana all enacted similar pro-suppressor hunting reform. Of the 35 states in which suppressor hunting is legal, Montana is the only state which restricts their use to certain types of animals. For a full map of suppressor legalities, visit the ASA’s website.
There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:
- HEARING PROTECTION: Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
- SAFER HUNTING: Most hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
- NOISE COMPLAINTS: As urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
- ACCURACY: Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.
We thank the National Rifle Association, Buckeye Firearms Association, and sportsmen and women who worked hard to support HB 234. We also thank Rep. Grossman and Rep. Becker for sponsoring the initial legislation, and Chairman Bill Coley, Sen. Larry Obhof, Sen. Joe Uecker, and President Keith Faber for their steadfast support. Without all of the support, this measure would not have passed.
The American Suppressor Association looks forward to continuing to work towards our goal of legalizing suppressor ownership and hunting in all 50 states. We would like to thank Ohio for taking us all one step closer.