Earlier today, the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee voted by an 8 – 2 margin to pass House Bill 234. The bill, which was amended in committee, was then moved to the Senate floor, where it passed 24 – 6. It is now headed to the House for concurrence. If passed without amendments, HB 234 will then advance to Governor Kasich.
Sponsored by Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-23) and Rep. John Becker (R-65), the bill was originally drafted to repeal the prohibition on the use of legally possessed suppressors while hunting in Ohio. Lawmakers have consolidated a number of pro-gun amendments into the bill, including a “Shall Sign/Certify” provision which will require Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) to process NFA applications in the same manner as CHL licenses. A signature will be required unless the applicant is found to be a prohibited person.
The legalization of suppressor hunting has widespread support among hunters and sportsmen in Ohio 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. Rather, they trap the expanding gasses at the muzzle of a firearm and allow them to slowly cool, in a similar fashion to car mufflers. Their muffling capabilities intrinsically make them a hearing protection device for both the shooter and those around them.
We thank the NRA, Buckeye Firearms Association, and sportsmen and women who have supported 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.