LACEY’S SPRING, Ala. (WHNT) – A major change is on the horizon for hunters in Alabama. The state is one step closer to allowing hunters to use silencers, or suppressors, on their guns.
The changes to the state regulation is intended to protect a hunter’s hearing, but some believe this latest move is a step in the wrong direction.
Matthew Eslick of Lacey’s Spring has been a hunter for 22 years.
When he heard that the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Board voted unanimously to allow hunting with suppressors, he was not happy.
“I think it’s a complete and utter outrage,” said Eslick. “As a law-abiding hunter, there is no need.”
Suppressors reduce the amount of noise when a gun is fired.
More than 30 states already allow hunting with silencers saying it cuts down on hearing loss and noise pollution, but Eslick says they will do more harm than good.
“When you’re hunting big game, you’re using calibers that are well faster than the speed of sound. So, there’s no positive side to using a silencer other than no body knows that you are anywhere around,” said Eslick.
Along with the safety concerns, he says it will lead to more poaching and hurt the game population.
“True hunters, as they are, are actually conservationists,” said Eslick. “When you make it easier for people to go against all the other laws that are set in place to help better the deer herds, to help better turkey populations, you’re essentially negating all conservation.”
Several people who are in favor of the new rules were contacted, but none were willing to give an interview to help with this story.
According to the National Rifle Association, this change in policy still has to go through an administrative review. If it is passed, the change will likely take effect in late June.