Hunting in silence now OK in Florida

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Good news for Florida game hunters, they can now use silencers to shoot animals like deer, rabbits, turkeys and quails. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission passed a measure quietly Friday that immediately removes the prohibition of noise-suppressors on rifles and pistols.

Florida hunters were already allowed to use silencers on shotguns.

This is really great news for families. Supporters of the measure note that it will protect hunters’ ears and lessen the intrusion of hunting on people nearby who, without a noise suppressor, may have heard the shots.

According to the Florida News Service’s Buck Holly, an owner of C&H Precision Weapons in LaBelle, told the commission silencers 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.”

Super! Now teens can venture out into the woods with high-powered weapons to shoot moving things with no fear at all. That’s exactly what gun regulations should do, empower kids to shoot a gun without having to worry about a pesky thing like recoil or a loud boom. That’s way more scary than a bullet hole!

Florida is the 33rd state in the union to lift such prohibitions and the last in the Southeastern United States. That means there were 32 states before Florida that had the foresight to make sure shooting guns is a fun-filled family activity. Only popping balloons is more scary than hunting.

There have been some concerns about making hunting a quiet activity. Some worry lifting the ban on silencers could increase illegal activity. Supporters say there haven’t been reported incidents of crime in states where the supressors are legal.

They also note it’s really no biggie because, you know, those things are pricey!

In order to use a silencer a gun owner must pay $200 to register it with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and pass an FBI background check. The supressors cost between $400 and $2,000.

Rest at ease, only affluent people (and families) can enjoy the sounds of silence while gunning down turkey and various other poultry.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.