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Let the Hunting Begin:
Florida Lifts Ban on Silencers

| November 23, 2014

Are you shooting at me? (Nakae)

Are you shooting at me? (Nakae)

Florida hunters can now muffle their shots when hunting deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday agreed, with little comment, to issue an order that immediately removes a prohibition on the use of noise-suppressors, or silencers, with rifles and pistols.

Florida becomes the 33rd state to allow the noise-suppressors for game hunting.

Florida had been the only state in the Southeast to have such a ban, which was lifted at the request of hunters, said Diane Eggeman, director of the agency’s Division of Hunting and Game Management.

Eggeman said silencers cut noise by about 30 decibels, and it’s a common misconception that such noise-suppressers eliminate sound from the weapon.

“You can hear it from a long way away,” Eggeman said. “It’s a significant noise.”

Florida already allows the use of suppressors on shotguns for game hunting. A suppressor can also be placed on a rifle or pistol when hunting on private lands for non-game wildlife, including hogs and armadillos.

During the commission meeting, held in Key Largo, Fish and Wildlife staff and a couple of hunters defended the proposal as a means to protect hunters’ hearing, lessen the impact of hunting on others and help while introducing people to the sport.

Buck Holly, an owner of C&H Precision Weapons in LaBelle, told the commission that silencers also improve communications among hunters in the field, and he noted his 17-year-old daughter prefers using a silencer on a rifle as it reduces the recoil and sound.

“None of my kids are afraid to hunt with rifles because there is no longer the loud bang,” Holly said. “There is not a lot of recoil, they all think it’s fun.”

Holly added there has been an uptick in silencer sales in Hendry County in anticipation of the prohibition being lifted.

Concerns have been expressed to the commission that lifting the ban would reduce safety and increase opportunities for illegal activities. But Eggeman said wildlife officials from other states haven’t reported an increase in illegal activities as few hunters use suppressors because they are expensive and highly regulated.

To purchase a silencer, a hunter must pay a $200 registration fee with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and pass an FBI background check.

The cost of a rifle suppressor has been estimated between $450 and $2,000.

–News Service of Florida

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13 Responses for “Let the Hunting Begin:
Florida Lifts Ban on Silencers”

  1. Elmer says:

    Be bery bery quiet ….I’m hunting Wabbits !

  2. Yellowstone says:

    Finally . . . . It’s never been much fun shooting and killing living things when you can’t hear the loud bang!

  3. JoJo says:

    Not good. Silencer in wrong hands is scary.

  4. Seminole Pride says:

    Looking forward to getting my yearly Buck.

  5. Ben FL expat says:

    Silencers are needed by hunters because deer have the unfair advantage of packing full-auto firearms. Also, an ethical hunter needs his shots muffled to not unduly disturb the bears as he pops one into a deer’s lung (quietly). Hit-men in movies favor silencers when rubbing out snitches under contracts – why not use them when hunting deadly quarry like deer? Hunters with silencers are the ultimate “conservationists.” I feel safer knowing that those brave men and women are deep-sixing local deer. Lest we forget the danger posed by deer – subversive movies like Bambi and The Yearling. I hate deer – commies and pinkos they are…

    My hero, Mr. Bambi killer. Poof – pow. Thanks man.

    • Bill says:

      First they are sound suppressors not a silencer. they are not like in the movies where almost no noise is heard but a mouse fart. I don’t get why one would use them but have no objection either. Also how many do you believe go hunting with “full-auto firearms”?

  6. Groot says:

    That’s nice that the children are no longer afraid to hunt now that they have silencers. Such a nice family.

    • "Rick" says:

      “it is nice that the children are no longer afraid to hunt….”
      Uh, yea…ok.
      Course now, that wouldn’t quite explain why they all flock over to & tolerate the booming & thundering fireworks, on the annual 4th of July festivities, or would it? Maybe a different type of boom-bang?
      Then they’re also stating that it reduces the recoil? Not in my experiences. But hey, the recoil is still produced, just redispersed.
      I’m beginning to believe someone is full of it, wouldn’t you say?

  7. Sherry Epley says:

    She says sarcastically. . .Yes, why should hunting continue to be any kind of “sport”, much less actually feeding a family?! Why give the unprotected animals and the innocent humans a fighting chance? Just leave those silencers on and your guns loaded and certainly unlocked. . . just in case a kid walks in your neighborhood wearing a “hoodie”!

  8. CALMDOWN says:

    “silencers” are not what you see in movies first off they are called suppressors while they do muffle the sound it is in no way silenced in fact a rifle would still be audible at considerable distance the public has seen too many Hollywood movies that sensationalize the effect a suppressor has on a weapon I do not hunt but I have first hand experience with suppressors. It will not effect how animals are hunted or the amount of animals harvested. They are also very effective of reducing recoil for older hunters

    • John Smallberries says:

      The only thing about suppressors that reduces the recoil is the additional mass on the rifle. You could just as effectively add some lead weight to the rifle and get less recoil.

  9. Firearms Tech says:

    Please learn about the subject before spouting off. There are two main sounds that a firearm reports, first the concussive sound of the propellant being consumed and the gas pressure escaping confinement, the second is the super sonic signature. Hunting rounds are rare in subsonic, so the addition of a suppressor will not hinder the super sonic signature, think the sonic boom the shuttle makes. What the suppressor will affect is the gas pressure report. The suppressor gives the expanding gases a confined space to cool and the pressure to greatly reduce. This causes a loss in report of the “controlled explosion”

    So the addition of the suppressor is going to reduce the report from in the neighborhood of 160dB to around 130dB, which is still louder than most stereo systems can produce. You also have the super sonic signature. The benefit is it won’t cause hearing loss or damage as quickly as the unsuppressed rifle would.

  10. Palm Coast Prosperity says:

    Ben FL expat, you have just become my hero!

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