Kansas Passes Landmark Suppressor Bill


If I had to guess, I’d say that most who frequent this site vigorously eschew anything that might be called “politically progressive.” However, an event recently occurred that truly is progressive for hunters and shooters. On March 22, the Kansas state legislature passed by a vote of 124-0 SB152. What is SB152? It is a bill—expected soon to become law—that repeals the prohibition of firearm sound suppressors being used while lawfully hunting, fishing or trapping. Further, it extends the right to carry a concealed handgun while engaging in these same activities.

When Hiram Percy Maxim received U.S. Patent number 916,855 on March 30, 1909, for a firearm silencer (his terminology), he did not envision a device for assassins or other miscreants. Rather, it was intended for the urban shooting enthusiast to participate in his passion without disturbing his neighbors. It was the government that attached the nefarious stigma to a device that became the basis for internal-combustion engine mufflers—the technology of which remains in use today.

In much of Europe firearm suppressors are not only encouraged, but required in many cases. Often referred to as “moderators” on the other side of the pond, I met a gentleman from the U.K. who had one attached to his 7 mm magnum rifle while hunting in South Africa when I was there three years ago. According to this hunter, while the U.K. may have arguably draconian laws regarding the purchase and possession of firearms, moderators can be bought over the counter without any special permits or licensing requirements.

There might be some “old school” folks here that might still question the legitimacy of a suppressor on a hunting firearm. To that I would respond that perhaps if he employed a suppressor during his hunting career he might not need the hearing aids he wears today.

Kudos to the state of Kansas for acting in a truly progressive and responsible manner!

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