Ohio Finally Allows Hunting with Suppressors: Now What?
Ohio Hunters can now use suppressors for everything from coyote hunting with an AR-15 to squirrel hunting with a .22 lr.
After a long wait, the bill we have been waiting for has finally crossed Governor John Kasich’s desk, and he signed it into law on Friday. House Bill 234 allows Ohio sportsman to now legally hunt with noise suppressors, silencers, cans, or whatever you like to call them. This opens up so many possibilities, especially when coupled with straight walled rifle cartridges Ohio hunters can now legally pursue deer with. Although suppressing every hunting rifle you own will not be cheap, many hunters are already looking into how to get started.
Outfitting your hunting rigs with suppressors is not as easy as heading down to your local sporting goods store and picking one of them off of the shelf in every caliber. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives still heavily regulates the manufacture, sale, and purchase of noise suppressors even though they are legal in Ohio. So, how do you get started?
First, in order to legally purchase the suppressor you have picked out, you need to obtain an application signed by your County Sheriffs Office. That application is sent to the BATFE for approval based on a background check. This application will also require a $200 tax stamp per suppressor you wish to purchase. Also, you can expect this process to take months instead of weeks, so be patient.
So how much do these things cost. Well, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 for low-end rimfire, to over $1000 for high-end rifle suppressors. And don’t forget the extra $200 tax stamp that goes to the government per can. While this can get expensive, take it one step, and one gun at a time, and you will be hunting a lot quieter in the future.
The opportunities House Bill 234 opens up are really exciting for Ohio sportsman. Night-time coyote hunting with a noisy AR-15 will now be a lot quieter and possibly open up new tracts of land to hunt. Trappers can dispatch their catches with a .22 suppressor and subsonic ammo without giving away their location. Slower moving straight-walled rifle cartridges, now legal for deer hunting in Ohio, would make excellent candidates and very quiet deer rifles. How will this affect and protect the hearing of our next generation of hunters? Only positives can come from this move by our state legislature, and Ohio sportsman are already picking which gun they want to quiet down first.