Texas: silencing guns?
Allowing silencers on guns for feral hog hunting has been so
sucessful uh, excitedly received that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has proposed allowing shotguns and rifles to be modified with sound suppressors for hunting game animal and game birds.
Currently silencers may only be used hunting nuisance “non game” animals like feral hogs.
Seriously, do ya’ think there’s a chance the wild hogs are tipped off just a little bit by the helicopter noises? I doubt that sneaking up on the piggy guys is the reason for those silencers. Although hunters with sound suppression equipped rifles have been able to reduce the nuisance hogs around settled subdivisions like the Woodlands without disturbing the suburbanites cranky about their hog ravaged lawns.
Many neighborhoods also consider native alligators quite a nuisance.
But right now gator hunters can’t use silencers. Obviously it’s important to give alligators a heads-up so they can wake up and get ready. Make it an even contest.
Silencers, in reality, aren’t silent like in the movies.
The noise is “reduced”. A sound suppressor slows the speed and velocity of the bullet which also affects the range of the bullet.
Want a really silent weapon?
Try a bow and arrow.
So, why would the White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee, of all groups, present the silencer proposal for consideration as a new hunting regulation?
- Hunters have realized all those loud gun noises badly damage hearing.
- Yeah, hunters should wear ear protectors – but that’s such a bother (and you have to buy them for the kids and everyone with you, too.)
- People in surrounding areas complain about the noise from all the shooting.
- Yeah, all that banging does let land owners know when someone is shooting on their property, legally or illegally.
- Silencers are just cool.
- Yeah, everyone wants to be cool. (And Ma keeps telling us to go outside and stop playing those violent video games)
- It’s a technological advancement
- Yeah, technology brings a “freshness” and “new enthusiasm” (burp) to the sport.
- Besides, the expense will limit who hunts with silencers: Must have a heavily regulated federal firearms license (about $200. and a 3-6 months wait for ATF approval), need a rifle ($1,000. for a cool one?), purchase a silencer/suppressor (about $400.), and, to make it really quiet, use sub-sonic ammunition (Over $50. a box in .308 or .223)
- Yeah, people would rather spend money on big screen TVs, Superbowl tickets, new fancy wheels for their vehicle, extreme tailgating cookers and rigs, or maybe season tickets to the opera or ballet.
- Most of the game wardens are against this. They say it will make it harder to locate poachers.
- In a rural areas, kids learn to be alert for gunfire – and the direction it is coming from – during certain times of the year.
- Suburban sprawl is everywhere. Consider Harris County (Houston), and Galveston County (bedroom communities south of Houston). There are remaining populations of deer, and it is perfectly legal to shoot them. But does anyone really want hunters using silencers in the area? At least with noise of normal gunfire, people know when to duck – or run – or call the sheriff about dangerous situations.
- It’s legal to have hunting near schools. Remember the kids who were shot while playing on school grounds?
- Silencers might dampen celebrations. You know those people who, after a few drinks on a holiday, go out and start shooting guns in the air. They get all hooted up and want to make some noise. What fun would that be if there was a silencer on the rifle? (They could unscrew it and take it off, but might forget the first few shots). Without the loud gun fire, how would the neighbors know to call the police? So silences here are just lose-lose on this one: no satisfying bang-bang for the shooter, and no warning for the neighbors.