Sheriff: Suppressors Improve the Hunting Experience, Make Firearms Training Safer

THURMONT, MD - MARCH 12: There's burst of smoke and ejecting shell as A.J. Wynne shoots a Heckler & Koch MP 5 short barrel rifle with a suppressor. A.J. Wynne is a former Marine who now works as a firearms instructor. He spent the afternoon target practicing with a variety …
Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sampson County North Carolina Sheriff Jimmy Thornton says suppressors improve the hunting experience and make firearms training safer.

Writing in the The Fayetteville Observer, Sampson said:

Suppressors would improve the hunting experience. Common hearing protection used by hunters can make it difficult to hear wildlife movements, changes in the wind, and other sounds in the hunting environment. Using a suppressor reduces the sound of the firearm enough to allow the safe use of minimal hearing protection, depending on the type of firearm and suppressor being used. This allows hunters to be more aware of their surroundings and other hunters in their areas.

He also pointed out the hearing protection afforded by suppressors and explained that such protection makes firearms training safer. He described the numerous and lengthy exposures to the sound of gunfire and muzzle concussion endured by lifelong law enforcement personnel, observing that suppressors can prevent officers from requiring hearing aids later in life.

Sampson suggests that “suppressors make for good neighbors” by fighting “noise pollution.” This means people who live near shooting ranges or areas where a lot of hunting occurs would also benefit from suppressor use, even if they do not personally own or shoot a gun.

But the laws governing suppressors are cumbersome  and acquiring one requires the law-abiding citizen to submit fingerprints and photographs, take a background check, register the device with the ATF, and pay the federal government a $200 tax. Sampson wrote, “Unnecessary regulations oftentimes burden lawful citizens from operating within their constitutional rights and rarely hinder criminals. I call on Congress to eliminate this Prohibition-era law that has only made it harder for law-abiding gun owners to use firearms safely and responsibly. It is time for Congress to pass The Hearing Protection Act of 2017.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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