State Representatives Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and John Becker (R-Union Twp.) announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 234, which will allow hunters to use noise suppressors on their firearms.

Under the bill, a person who has a valid hunting license is permitted to attach a suppressor onto their firearm while hunting game birds or wild, four-legged animals, including white-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels. Hunters may only possess a suppressor if it is registered under the National Firearms Act. Members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee heard testimony from many hunters that a noise suppressor would effectively reduce the decibel level of a firearm to a safer level to avoid hearing loss.

 “I was proud to joint-sponsor House Bill 234,” said Becker, who joint-sponsored the legislation with Grossman. “It is important to point out that these devices do not eliminate all sound, but rather diminish sound to a safer decibel level.  Unfortunately movies have created a very inaccurate representation of how a suppressor really sounds. To put this into perspective, a firearm with a suppressor attached is in the same decibel range as an ambulance siren or jackhammer. People will still be able to hear the gun when it is fired.”

“In the more than 30 states that have already authorized their use, noise suppressors on firearms have shown to be safe and effective,” said Grossman. “There have been cases where the absence of a suppressor has led to hearing damage in hunters. This bill simply reduces the likelihood of that happening.”

The Ohio Speech and Hearing Governmental Affairs Coalition, representing over 3,500 speech and hearing healthcare professionals across Ohio, also testified in favor of this legislation that they said would protect hunters’ hearing health.

After passing the House, 73-14, the bill now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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