FWC considers legalizing silencers for hunters

By Sally Mamdooh, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, August 11, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

Hunters in Florida may soon be able to operate with lethal stealth as lawmakers consider a new proposal that would allow them to use silencers.

It’s a proposal that hunters have been waiting for.

One hunter mentioned the convenience of not needing ear protection, and much easier that could make practice time on the target range.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to allow hunters to use silencers on rifles and pistols.

Firing Line Range Manager Adam Lemmons says suppressors typically sell well and if this proposal is passed he’ll definitely see a surge in business. Lemmons is an avid hunter himself, and says silencers do have their benefits.

"If I'm going to use it in the woods, it's not going to give away my hunting spot," said Lemmons. "A lot of people are very secretive about these type of things. It's not going to affect other people and other hunters in my area that I'm hunting in. It's not going to affect the spot that I continuously hunt at as much as it would with a normal gunshot."

Not everyone likes the idea, and critics are convinced that gun silencers could be a liability.

"There are hunters all around," said Alex Humphries. "You would always want to be aware of hunters."

Humphries lives in the country, and has two children. She thinks being able to hear hunters gunshots are a good indication that those hunters are staying in designated areas.

But silencers like don't actually silence the gun. They just take that harsh crack out of the sound of the gun when it fires.

But plenty of people, including mothers like Humphries, still want to hear those shots loud and clear.

"If we are just riding through on our four-wheelers through the woods, I would like to hear where a gun shot is coming from," said Humphries.

It will be up to the FWC to decide if hunters shots will ring out, or be silenced.