Hunters, landowners react to silencers bill - KOTA Territory News

Hunters, landowners react to silencers bill

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After lawmakers shot down a similar bill in January, the Wyoming State Legislature could soon pass a bill allowing hunters to use silencers except for big game.

Gun salesmen at The Sports Lure in Buffalo say silencers provide a big advantage for hunting smaller game.

"If you're calling in coyotes and you call in three coyotes, and you shoot and kill one of them, the other two coyotes don't hear the rifle and you're able to get the other two.  That's a huge benefit," said manager Adam Todd.

Landowners like Jeff Shelley, a butcher with Big Horn Meat Cutting, believe silencers would help solve their problems with predators.

"They'll come in and get at your sheep and at your cows and they'll chase your horses," said Shelley.

But while silencers would benefit landowners who deal with predators, other problems could arise for those same property owners.

"Worried about trespassing, because if you can get onto a place you're not supposed to be and not be heard, you're going to try to get away with a lot more," said Shelley.

The Sports Lure does not sell silencers, only Class III Weapons Dealers can.  The National Firearms Act Dealers web site only lists two dealers in Wyoming.  Todd believes that since silencers are already a hassle to buy, few would sell if the bill passes.

"I know that they have to get a federal stamp, Class III stamp.  And they have to go to a dealer within Wyoming," said Todd.

Most silencers cost more than $1,000 and while Shelley would pay that much to help his problem with predators, he'll have to wait for the Wyoming Legislature's approval later this month.

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