April 16, 2014
COLUMBUS—State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 234, which will allow hunters to use noise suppressors on their firearms.
Under the bill, a person who has a valid hunting license is permitted to attach a suppressor onto their firearm while hunting game birds or wild, four-legged animals, including white-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels. Hunters may only possess a suppressor if it is registered under the National Firearms Act. Members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee heard testimony from many hunters that a noise suppressor would effectively reduce the decibel level of a firearm to a safer level to avoid hearing loss.
“I am happy to support this bill as it can help conserve the hearing of Ohio hunters,” said Johnson, a cosponsor of the bill. “Sound suppressors are not like the ‘James Bond’ style ‘silencers’ that we see in the movies. The shot and resulting retort will still be quite audible but will be diminished enough that the hunter using such a device will experience less damage to his hearing.”
The Ohio Speech and Hearing Governmental Affairs Coalition, representing over 3,500 speech and hearing healthcare professionals across Ohio, also testified in favor of this legislation that they said would protect hunters’ hearing health.
House Bill 234 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.