Montana: Suppressor Hunting Legislation Needs Support

Yesterday, Senate Bill 295 was heard by the Montana House Judiciary Committee. Sponsored by Senator Mark Blasdel (R-4), SB 295 would remove the prohibition on the use of legally possessed firearm suppressors while hunting for all game animals. Having already passed the Senate by an overwhelming majority of 35 to 15, SB 295 needs your support in the House Judiciary Committee.

There are currently 35 states which allow hunters to use legally possessed suppressors in the field. Last year, AlabamaFloridaGeorgiaLouisiana, and Ohio 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. SB 295 will fix this, making it legal to hunt all game animals in the Treasure State. For a full map of suppressor legalities, visit the ASA’s website.

There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. ACCURACY: Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

Using the contact information below, please call and email members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them support of SB 295.

House Judiciary Committee:

Representative Jerry Bennett (R-1), Chair
(406) 293-7012

Representative Alan Doane (R-36), Vice-Chair
(406) 583-7546

Representative Virginia Court (D-50), Vice-Chair
(406) 259-5099

Representative Seth Berglee (R-58)
(406) 690-9329

Representative Jenny Eck (D-79)
(406) 459-1082

Representative Clayton Fiscus (R-43)
(406) 860-6400

Representative Stephanie Hess (R-28)

Representative Ellie Boldman Hill (D-90)
(406) 218-9608

Representative Kathy Kelker (D-47)
(406) 652-6716

Representative Sarah Laszloffy (R-53)
(406) 530-7013

Representative Margie MacDonald (D-51)
(406) 652-6625