After receiving overwhelming approval in the Senate by a 40 to 3 vote, Senate Bill1743 has come under attack from some state game wardens, and needs your help to pass in the House Agriculture, Wildlife and Environment Committee. Known as the “Landowner's Hunting Freedom Act,” this important pro-hunting legislation would allow Oklahoma landowners and their guests to use lawfully-possessed suppressors (also referred to as silencers) on firearms for hunting. Some state game wardens are taking a page out of the anti-gunners’ playbook, spreading false and unfounded concerns to derail this common sense reform. Opposing game wardens are pressuring Committee members to oppose the bill. It is important that you contact Committee members TODAY, urging them to base their legislative decisions on fact and not fear.
Firearm suppressors are already legal in the Sooner State. Law-abiding Oklahomans currently own and use firearm suppressors at shooting ranges or for target practice in the fields or woods. Hunting is the only firearm-related activity for which suppressors remain illegal is hunting, and the National Rifle Association seeks to repeal this unnecessary restriction in Oklahoma for landowners on their own private property and their invited guests.
Some game wardens have begun to claim that poaching is a major concern and reason for their opposition to SB 1743. However, in his Senate bill presentation, bill author Senator Steve Russell (R-45) testified that he asked the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for the number of poaching incidents involving the use of firearm suppressors over the last twenty years and never received an answer to his inquiry. The bottom line is that there is no problem with poaching using suppressors in any state. In fact, a number of states are expanding suppressor use for hunting, realizing the many benefits that the sound-muffling devices provide. Yesterday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved allowing the use of suppressors to hunt all game species, following Arizona’s House Bill 2728 that was signed into law the same day.
READ THE FULL NRA-ILA ALERT ON SB 1743 HERE.