Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Senate OKs suppressors for hunting

Columbus — An Ohio bill that relaxes some requirements to obtain concealed carry permits cleared the state Senate after a legislative panel scrapped other proposed changes to the state’s weapons laws.

The gun measure also would allow hunters to use noise suppressors on their guns under certain conditions. The idea, which passed the House earlier this year, would let licensed hunters use the noise suppressors while hunting certain birds and other wild game, including squirrels, rabbits, and white-tailed deer.

Senators passed the broad legislation on a 24-6 vote as they sought to finish their work.

Backers of the bill contend that noise suppressors would help protect hunters’ hearing, while making field commands easier to hear because hunters would not have to shout.

Opponents have said quieter weapons are not as safe and are easier to use illegally. Democratic Sens. Mike Skindell and Nina Turner told their colleagues they feared that hunters would be emboldened to seek game closer to residential areas.

“I don’t understand why a hunter needs a silencer to shoot Bambi or to shoot Tweety Bird – I just don’t get it,” said Turner, of Cleveland. “We need to make sure that those silencers are not used in a criminal way.”

State Sen. Bill Coley, a Middletown Republican, said the measure does not contain the word “silencer,” and the suppressors are aimed at protecting hunters from damage to their hearing.

The Senate Civil Justice Committee amended the bill to reduce the training time to get a concealed weapons permit from a minimum of 12 hours to eight. Such training must include two hours devoted to range time and live-fire training. The legislation also provides that certain out-of-state licenses will be recognized and allows a person who isn’t an Ohio resident to get or renew a concealed handgun license if he or she works in Ohio.

Turner also questioned why the state would want to reduce training.

“At a time when we are attempting to understand the burdens law enforcement officers are faced with every single day and provide them with more effective methods of executing their duties, is this really something we want to do at this time?” she said.

State Sen. Joe Uecker, a Republican from Loveland in southwest Ohio, said the measure updates access to the state’s concealed carry permits and makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to bear arms.

Addressing the concerns raised about the training changes, he said, “Each and every instructor can fail any student who they deem not qualified regardless of the amount of training time.”

The House must agree to the changes before the governor could sign the bill.

The gun measure does not contain other ideas debated this General Assembly, such as:

• Expanding the circumstances in which Ohioans could use force to defend themselves without having a duty to first retreat from an attacker.

• Allowing investigators with the attorney general’s office to be armed in the same manner as sheriffs and police officers.

• Exempting active military members over the age of 18 from having to obtain a concealed weapons permit to carry guns.

• Clarifying that guns legally carried onto the grounds of a school must remain in a locked car.

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