Often mistakenly called silencers, sound suppressors may soon be a standard option for Georgia sportsmen in the woods of the Peach State. Georgia Senate Bill 93, to allow the use of legally registered sound moderating devices, passed the state Senate Feb. 26th by a slam dunk vote of 43-10.
The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, with Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, as a co-sponsor.
\"I sponsored this legislation to allow responsible firearms owners to use suppressors while hunting in Georgia,\" Heath said in a released statement. \"This is a good measure and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to make suppressors a reality.\"
Heath said the suppressors reduce the overall decibel level of the firearm, assisting in protecting the hunters\' hearing.
Besides protecting hearing, these devices can help with follow up shots in the event of a miss, with a lower likelihood of spooking game at a distance. Not only do suppressors muffle the sound, they also mitigate muzzle flash, preserving the hunter\'s sight in low light situations.
The bill strikes the term \"The use of silencers for hunting within this state is prohibited\" and replaces it with: \"Any firearm otherwise authorized for use in the hunting or taking of game may be equipped with a suppressor, provided that the user is authorized to possess such suppressor and he or she has registered the suppressor in accordance with the dictates of the National Firearms Act.\"
This means that as long as it\'s a suppressor that is legally registered with the ATF (sorry, no coke bottles, guys), then it can be used for hunting if the bill becomes law. Not only does this mean that .22LR cans can be used for critters like squirrel, but larger centerfire caliber suppressors can be utilized for deer.
Suppressed Remington 788 in .44 Magnum and a nice deer. From AR15.com
According to the ATF, which registers suppressors for a one-time tax of $200, these devices have exploded in popularity in the past decade. In 2005 the Bureau processed 147,484 applications for NFA devices (short barreled rifles, machineguns, suppressors and AOWs), while in 2012, they processed 1,112,041-- most of those suppressors.
Most states allow suppressors, with only 11 forbidding them-- a number that is constantly subject to further diminish. Of the 39 states, 29 allow silencers for hunting, while 2 states only allow varmint hunting, according to the American Silencer Association.
In many European countries, it\'s considered only right to hunt with suppressors so as not to disturb neighboring property owners.
The measure now is in the House, where it was read on March 4th.
Be sure to contact your local rep as well as the Governor\'s office with your support of this measure.