Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Do hunters’ guns really need silencers?

Maybe I’m missing something, but I still don’t understand why the Kansas Legislature passed a bill that would allow hunters to use silenced firearms.

First and foremost, how many gun owners go to the expense and hassle of adding a suppressor? Even a cheap one costs $250 or so, and the really good ones can cost upward of $2,000. To legally own one, firearm owners must fill out a bunch of paperwork and pay the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives a $200 annual one-time transfer fee. And all that for what? A 60-decibel reduction in sound?

That’s right, reduction — not elimination. In the movies, silenced firearms make a quiet thwip, thwip sound when fired. In real life, they go bang. The bang isn’t as loud as usual, but it’s still a bang.

Kansas’ silencer bill is now on the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback. With his signature, it becomes the law of the land. Go figure.

The Hays Daily News has the latest on this curious bit of lawmaking.