On Friday, November 21, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is scheduled to conduct a final vote on whether or not they will repeal the prohibition on the use of firearm suppressors for taking deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail, and crows. The draft rule, which was initially included in the Consent Agenda for consideration on Thursday, November 20, was delayed due to a flurry of anti-gun media coverage.
The proposed amendment is comprised of a single strikethrough which would lift the 57 year old ban on hunting game animals with suppressors in Florida.
Although the measure is limited in scope, it has widespread support among hunters and sportsmen in the state who want to be able to preserve their hearing while in the field. The primary role of a suppressor is to reduce the overall sound signature of the host firearm to hearing safe levels. Contrary to popular belief, they do not “silence” or eliminate the noise of a gunshot. Instead, they trap the expanding gasses at the muzzle of a firearm and allow them to slowly cool, in a similar fashion to car mufflers.
Even the most effective suppressors on the market on the smallest and quietest calibers reduce the peak sound level of the gunshot to around 110-120 dB. To put that in perspective, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), that is as loud as a jackhammer (110 dB) or an ambulance siren (120 dB). To our knowledge, no one has ever accused a jackhammer of being silent.
When considering hunting caliber firearms, which average between 155-185 dB, the best suppressors only reduce the peak sound level to around 130-140 dB. While this is a tremendous reduction in noise level, it is still as loud as a jet engine at takeoff (140 dB).
It is time for Florida to join the 32 other states which currently allow the use of suppressors while hunting all game animals. This year, similar pro-suppressor hunting reform has been enacted in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. On September 10, FWC voted unanimously to advance the regulation to a final vote. Let’s help make sure they vote unanimously to pass it.
Please contact members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission IMMEDIATELY and politely urge them to legalize full game suppressor hunting in Florida.
Contact the Commissioners here: http://myfwc.com/contact/fwc-staff/senior-staff/contact-commissioners/