While the United States leads the world in most ways, it has lagged in the adoption of suppressors for guns. In most of gun-averse Europe, mufflers aren’t controversial. In Finland, ownership, manufacture, sale, distribution, and use of gun mufflers is a constitutional right. On most of the continent, suppressors are easier to acquire than firearms; their use is considered good manners . . .

Not so in the United States. Due to a weird quirk in firearms law passed during the Roosevelt administration, gun mufflers require a $200 dollar tax to be paid to the federal government. Processing of the tax form takes several months. When the law was passed, the tax was equivalent to $4,000 in today’s dollars. This tax was on a device that normally cost $10 at the time. Today such devices can be had for $50 in Finland. No reason was given for the virtual ban on the mufflers.

Now that inflation has reduced the value of the tax to “only” one half  to four times the cost of the device, there has been a resurgence in the use of suppressors. States are seeing the advantages of reducing ear damage and the irritation of neighbors. Most states now allow the mufflers to be used for hunting.

Florida already allows gun mufflers to be used on private property with rifles and pistols, and for hunting with shotguns.  From jacksonville.com:

Hunting game in Florida could become less noisy by the end of the year.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advanced a proposal Wednesday to remove a prohibition on the use of noise-suppressors, or silencers, with rifles and pistols when hunting deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

The proposal will now be advertised in the Florida Administrative Register, and the commission is expected to vote on the new rule in November.

Florida is likely to join the other states in allowing the devices to be used for most hunting. It’s hard to argue against it when bows and crossbows are legal.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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46 Responses to Florida Looks to Expand Legal Hunting with Suppressors

      • Those aren’t bad. Have you checked out Hausken and Ase Utra?

        Kinda sucks that we in Europe can’t get American suppressors.

        • I wonder why not? The prices are very high, but the quality is good. Perhaps it has something to do with demand here being so high.

          At least you can get European suppressors at much better prices and far less trouble than we can get American suppressors here.

        • US export laws are the problem. An American made suppressor can’t be brought out of the US.

          The suppressors are good here too, so it’s okay I guess. 160 USD for a steel rimfire suppressor that can be taken apart for cleaning is good (and it is really quiet).

          Though if you know a machinist your best bet is making your own IMO.

          Off Topic: How do you export an ITAR restricted item from one NATO country to another?

    • Spoken like a closet socialist if you ask me there George. Have you donated to the Bloomberg types this month yet?
      How about you worry about you, and I’ll decide what’s best for my shooting habits. While I do enjoy shooting suppressed, the last thing I need is another person telling what I can, can’t, and should do with my guns.

      Mandatory=Control

      • Wouldn’t that make it socialist to have to put a muffler on your car? Not to say that I am for forcing you to use a suppressor, but you are shooting your .338 from the house next to mine, we might have problems. Besides, it will make it easier for shooting ranges to set up shop in residential areas..

    • and what about us milsurp guys who like to keep their rifle stock or collectors of antiques arms are we allowed to look at them and not shoot them bugger off ya damn commie !!!

      • You can thread the barrel internally so that you can use a suppressor and maintain its original look.

        Best bet for gun ranges in residential areas would be sound traps IMO. It works like a silencer but it isn’t attached to the gun. You take a barrel/drum, cut of top and bottom and line the inside with steel wool and mesh.

        You shoot through it and uour neighboyrs aren’t disturbed (though you still need ear pro.

  1. I love hearing from the same people “I dont want to hear gun shots when I’m out with my family” and “only assassins need suppressors.”

    So what do they want? Enough people to get upset as they are at hearing gun shots that hunting by firearm is banned.

  2. So why the hell isn’t there more traction to remove suppressors from the NFA **** if all these states are allowing them to be used in hunting?

    Someone needs to write up a “Good Neighbor” or “Hearing Protection Act” bill in Congress and get the NRA behind it.

    Then we can frame it as “if you’re against suppressor use you’re either a bad neighbor or you’re against hearing protection.”

    • If you are serious, read Rise of the AntiMedia, now available on kindle for $10.

      Its a scholarly study and history of how the Concealed Carry movement succedeed, by grassroots up, citizen groups, state by state, county by county, in MI, where it started, twenty years ago, using horizontal integration of similar user groups, and email, newsletters and citizen initiatives to go around the StateRunMedia and too-down control by Progtards.

      It worked again, in CO when a plumber got pissed about a couple of out-of-touch state legislators tried to take guns away there. Its working now, in the ridicule and disdain for Rich Guy Astroturfing at MDA, by readers here at TTAG and energized citizens around the country, thanks to the innertubz, and the energy of those who give a $hit enough to pass the word, and better, give time and money, where tey live, to educate and inform, and hold pols responsible.

      You can do same, in your state. The road map is already here.

    • Even if some one were to write one up right now it’s guaranteed that Obama would veto it, if it made it that far. There is no way we would be able to get an override of that veto at this time. Remember after Newtown the AWB still managed to get 40 votes despite it being completely pointless and known to accomplish nothing. They sure of hell won’t vote to repeal the tax stamp for suppressors, and I am sure some other would also join them.

    • Really simple reason as to why not. $$$ taxable items, how long after. WWIIl did the removal of the F.E.T. on leather goods occur? Once a tax goes on it doesn’t go away. Google marijuana tax stamp.

  3. Well I like the idea of being polite. Reducing potential ear damage is also important. There has been a stigma on surpressors in the country and it is good to see that changing.

  4. I have no idea what quality this Finnish suppressors may be, but I would be interested in seeing what a $50 can looks like.

    • A stamped sheet-metal baffle stack that is loose inside a tube with threads cut with a hand tap.

      But, I bet it does 80% of the job that a $500 CNC’d can does, for 1/10th the cost. And when it goes kaputs from erosion or a bullet strike, you won’t go crying about it either.

  5. This is how I’ve started explaining suppressors to people who know nothing about firearms:

    1) Gunshots from rifles create sounds of about 150-160 decibels. Pistols about 150 dB. In comparison, pain begins around 125 dB, and short term exposure above 140 dB damages hearing permanently.
    2) Average double hearing protection gets you ~ 30 dB of noise reduction, meaning that loud rifles will get you just below the short term damage threshold.
    3) Adding a suppressor gets you about another 30 dB of noise reduction, which gets you around the noise level of a lawnmower or motorcycle.
    4) For the user, this means that they can avoid permanent hearing damage, however it does not come close to “silencing” any reasonably-sized firearm. Even if you talk about pistols, suppressed you are still talking about sounds in excess of 120 dB, which would be painful for the unprotected ear, and louder than a rock concert.

    http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

    http://keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2052

    • Excellent talking points. Note that lawn mower nearby is about 85db, which is the threshold at which sustained exposure does long-term damage, so if you have to raise your voice to be heard, then you should be wearing foamies, or ear muffs if you care how well you’ll hear in your 50s.

      And if you imagine most Progtards went to rock concerts as teens, and by the number of hearing aid commercials on CNN and Fox these days, then these are useful facts, to find common ground we can all agree upon, for self-interest, for ourselves, and our kids, and grandkids.

    • But then why would an anti care about the hearing of people who touch “evil” guns? Don’t they deserve hearing loss for owning those talismans of pure evil?

      Somehow I think that the “hearing protection for shooters” argument will win over any of the real antis.

  6. I could see making a cheap suppressor for 50 bucks. The $200 stamp means that today you won’t sell one for $50 under NFA, if you are shelling out the $200 you don’t want a 50 dollar oil filter suppressor.

  7. Thank you, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and all you hunters there whose tags pay for them.
    Its refeshing to see simple comomn sense applied in government today.

  8. Unfortunately some politicians and law makers use movie and television as reality and that influences their votes. Isn’t that sad? Sometimes that will randomly pop in my head that these people are elected officials, paid way too much and makes law based on fantasy, ugh.

  9. Tell the antis that silencers slow the bullets down and make them less lethal. Given their proclivity of touting incorrect and outdated information, that should be right up their alley on two fronts. That way we can have them do our work for us.

  10. Just how good are the best .22 rim fire sub sonic suppressors I assume the movie phut! Sound is a lot less than the real thing but the only time I was at the range when some one had a can it was on a 9mm semi auto and I was not impressed buy the effect…. Of course I have no idea of the quality of the can he was using or if it had been properly maintained.

    Over the weekend a report was here on a multicalaber can and I was scratching my head on how a can that can pass a 9mm slug and still work on a .22 I thought the tighter the fit of the slug through the can the better the noise reduction…. Lot of windage between a .22 and 9mm. Love to know the truth about this from the experts

  11. Owning suppressors is not a constitutional right in Finland. Suppressors used to be completely unregulated but when new gun laws were passed in the aftermath of the 2007 and 2008 school shootings*, a new clause was added that treats suppressors the same way as receivers, bolts, barrels and other “vital” firearm parts, i.e. you have to have a valid gun permit for in order to possess one legally. It doesn’t matter what kind of a gun you have, if you have a permit for it, you can own as many suppressors you like and for different calibers. Sale and transfer are not controlled but if cops find you in possession of a suppressor without a permit, they can charge you with illegal possession.

    *It probably comes as no surprise to anyone here that neither school shooter used a suppressor…

    • Interesting. I was referencing a court case said to have held that suppressors were protected as constitutional right. It was discussed in an english language thread on suppressor design, supposedly by one of the people involved. It was from the 90’s, as I recall.

      Too bad that they have become more regulated.

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