Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

You Can Now Hunt With a Silencer in Texas

Photo Courtesy of Flickr user boboroshi/Creative Commons

Silencers make hunting easier on the ears, but some control control groups worry about safety.

Earlier this month we told you about a proposed rule change that would allow hunters to use silencers when going after game, birds and even alligators. Today the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announced it has adopted that rule, so Texans can now hunt in relative silence. (Provided they submit an application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), pay $200 and get a criminal background check.)

“These devices are already legal for hunting exotic animals, including feral hogs, and there is no resource or enforcement-related reason to prohibit these devices for hunting alligators, game animals or game birds,” Scott Vaca, TPWD Assistant Chief of Wildlife Enforcement, said in a statement.

Opponents of the rule change had argued that a bullet is exactly the sort of thing that people should able to hear.

“I think there should be concerns across the spectrum, from people who are engaging in legitimate hunting activity and who are not able to hear the report of rifle fire from a hunter, or hunters who are not in their group and who don’t have that warning,”  Ladd Everitt, a spokesperson with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told StateImpact Texas earlier. 

More from the Parks and Wildlife:

“The regulation change does not relieve any person of the obligation to comply with applicable federal, state, or local law governing the possession or use of firearm silencers. Firearms silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act. They are legal for individuals to possess and use for lawful purposes in 39 states, including Texas. However, a prospective user must go through an application process administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which requires a Federal tax payment of $200 and a thorough criminal background check.”

Read our earlier story on hunting with silencers here.


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