On April 25, 2016, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2637 into law regarding the use of suppressors while hunting on public land. Current Oklahoma law states that it is only legal for Oklahomans to hunt with a suppressor as long as they are on private property with permission from the landowner.
In recent years, the use of suppressors has seen significant growth as more shooters and sportsmen learn of their benefits. Gun suppressors are primarily used to help prevent hearing loss by shooters. HB2637 amends current law and allows Oklahomans the freedom to hunt with suppressors on both public and private land.
According to U.S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles, “It’s not a novel idea. Oklahoma hunters have been allowed to use suppressors on private land for years.”
“This important pro-hunting legislation was passed overwhelmingly by both houses of the legislature,” Robles went on to say.
This bill was heavily opposed by the Oklahoma State Game Wardens Association. The Association’s president, Tony Clark, argued that allowing gun suppressors to be used by hunters on public land also would aid poachers, as well as being a safety issue.
“Allowing their use by hunters on public land where there is likely to be other hunters nearby would be unsafe. If you are not hearing the gunshot, you could be getting way too close to another hunter,” Clark said.
Fortunately for Oklahoma gun owners, the legislature did not agree with those arguments.
“Any restrictions to any of your fundamental rights,” says Robles, “should be subject to a standard that ensures the strongest possible protection for that right, especially your Second Amendment rights.”
The new law goes into effect November 1, 2016.