“Last week, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Board voted unanimously to allow hunting with silencers in the state,” al.com reports. There’s a lot of joy in Mudtown – and a lot of people who still don’t know what suppressors can and cannot do . . .
The effectiveness of a silencer depends greatly on the gun and the type of ammunition. While the silencer suppresses the explosion of the powder, it does nothing for the sound of a bullet breaking the sound barrier after it leaves the barrel. A silencer used with sub-sonic ammunition can make as little sound as a pellet gun, while higher velocity rounds can still make a lot of noise.
Yes, well . . . I’ll let TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia weigh-in on that simplification. Suffice it to say, the article does a good job of dealing with the commonly held view that a suppressor is to poaching what a door jimmy is to car theft.
Silencers might seem like a dream for poachers shooting deer in the dark, but [Fred Harders, the assistant director of wildlife and freshwater fisheries for the Alabama Department of Conservation] said the rule change is not likely to have a big impact on illegal hunting.
“When crossbows were talked about, the same thing was said about that,” he said. “A poacher typically uses whatever they’ve got. They’re not going to go out and fill out a lot of paperwork.”
A few might, he said, but it’s not the noise at night that lands poachers in trouble.
“Our officers don’t follow the shot,” he said. “We use other methods.”
We could tell you those methods but then we’d have to reenact The Most Dangerous Game. Anyway, result. Alabama hunters now have a better chance of entering their golden year with fully-operational ears. [h/t JP]
Note from Jeremy S:
In case it matters at all, I was always told that the problem poaching being done by folks with silencers was not of wild game, but of livestock. When the NFA was passed in 1934, it was basically the worst point in the Great Depression. The claim is that desperate people would shoot cattle and other animals on farms and ranches, doing so in the night with suppressed firearms. It was farmers, ranchers and their lobby that got silencers added to the NFA.
Apparently. But logically it makes sense to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody cared too terribly much about hunting license enforcement during the depression, but having your livestock stolen is serious stuff.