As of September 1 hunters in the state will be allowed to hunt with a suppressor after the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department approved a measure to legalize the use of “silencers” for hunting on March 30, a move that figures to make this the quietest hunting season yet.
Although the Hollywood stereotype leads most people to believe suppressors make gun shots inaudible, in reality a silencer simply lowers the decibel range of a fired shot, reducing the risk of hearing loss or injury.
“These devices are already legal for hunting exotic animals, including feral hogs, and there is no resource or enforcement related reason to prohibit these devices for hunting alligators, game animals or game birds,” Scott Vaca, TPWD Assistant Chief of Wildlife Enforcement, said in a statement, according to The Outdoor Wire.
The American Silencer Association said the main push for suppressor use is to protect the hearing of hunters and those in nearby areas. Suppressors are legal in 39 states, while Texas became the third state in two years to make the practice legal.
Despite the legalization, however, those who want to use a suppressor on their hunting rifle this season have to apply to the ATF, submit a $200 payment for licensure and wait between 30 days and one year for the appropriate paperwork.
Beyond the stereotypes that suppressors are only used by Jason Bourne or James Bond to whack a few bad guys in stealth mode, they are actually very effective for hunting in countries like Britain, where they are widely used.