Augusta, ME – On Wednesday, March 24th at 10:00 AM, the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will hold a public hearing on L.D. 635. Introduced by Senator Trey Stewart (SD 2), this pro-suppressor legislation seeks to repeal the requirement to obtain a state permit before hunting with a firearm suppressor in The Pine Tree State.
Firearm suppressors are legal to own in 42 states. Of these, 40 states allow hunters to use them in the field. The use of suppressors while hunting has been legal in Maine since 2015; however, Maine is the only state that requires an additional permit to do so. Eliminating the permit requirement would free up valuable Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife resources while simultaneously making the hunting experience in Maine safer by making it easier for hunters to mitigate their risk of hearing damage.
As L.D. 635 does not change Federal law, hunters would still be required to submit a Form 4 application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, pay a $200 transfer tax, pass an extensive FBI background check, notify their Chief Law Enforcement Officer, and wait an average of 6 to 18 months in order to lawfully obtain a suppressor.
The American Suppressor Association has submitted written testimony, and will provide verbal testimony during the hearing, but we need your help! If you are a resident of Maine, please use the contact form below to politely urge the members of the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to vote in support of L.D. 635.
There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:
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.
Most hunters do 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.
As urban development advances 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.
Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.
Although legal in 42 states, suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same process that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for ATF to process and approve the paperwork. In stark contrast, many countries in Europe place little to no regulations on their purchase, possession, or use.
About the American Suppressor Association
The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is the unified voice of the suppressor community. We exist for one reason and one reason only: to fight for pro-suppressor reform nationwide.
The ability of the American Suppressor Association to fight for pro-suppressor reform is tied directly to our ability to fundraise. Since the ASA’s formation in 2011, 3 states have legalized suppressor ownership and 18 states have legalized suppressor hunting. Much of this would not have happened without your support. For more information on how you can join us in the fight to help protect and expand your right to own and use suppressors, visit www.AmericanSuppressorAssociation.com.