Hunting in Ohio is about to get a lot quieter now that hunting with silencers is allowed.
Ohio hunters will get a rest for their eardrums with the passing of a bill by the Ohio Senate on Dec. 9, 2014, and the Ohio House on Dec. 10. The new bill combines parts of three other bills aimed at changing the gun laws in Ohio.
This new bill, Sub. HB 234, passed in the Senate with a 24-6 vote and then in the House with a 69-16 vote, will allow hunters to use suppressors when hunting, bringing Ohio gun laws in line with other states that allow hunting with suppressors. Suppressors help to lower the sound of a gunshot from hearing-damaging levels to a more comfortable noise level.
"Anytime you're shooting a gun, it's a good idea to wear hearing protection," Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said. "Because hunters can't do that, noise suppressors are the next best thing to protect their hearing."
However, the idea of allowing hunting with silencers did meet some opposition by lawmakers. Some legislators didn't see a need for a suppressor while hunting, while others felt this would encourage more criminals to use suppressors while committing crimes. Still others felt this bill could put law enforcement officers' lives in danger.
In the end, some of the legislators who voiced dissent still voted in favor of the bill.
The bill will now need to return to the House for a vote since many amendments were made to the original version.
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Concealed carry gets a boost
In addition to the suppressors, the amended bill is a win for concealed-carry permit holders. This bill helps to bring the Ohio concealed-carry law in line with other states.
Many things in this bill for concealed carry include:
- The number of training hours will be reduced from 12 to eight hours, including two hours of live fire on the range.
- People who live in another state but work in Ohio will be able to obtain a concealed-carry permit.
- People who live in states that don't have concealed-carry requirements like Ohio could get a permit for six months.
- Sheriffs will now have to run National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks on people who are applying for a permit, and will be allowed to use concealed-carry funds for other firearms training courses like hunter education courses.
- Active-duty military will have more flexibility to renew their permits.
- The application for a concealed-carry permit will be deleted from the Ohio Revised Code and be maintained by the attorney general's office. This will allow changes to the application to be made without having to pass them through legislation.
- If an Ohio license holder moves, their permit will be good until it expires, allowing a license holder to obtain a permit in their new state of residence.
This amended bill also changes the language of the laws concerning automatic weapons, and removes the wording stating that a 30-round magazine makes a firearm an automatic weapon.