Silent but deadly: Hunters want to use silencers

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TALLAHASSEE, FLa. - Hunter's rifles may soon be silenced in Florida, but not because of any gun crackdown.

It's against the law in Florida for hunters scouring the woods to use a silencer or suppressor. The Fish and Wildlife Commission could be on the verge of changing that.

"This rule has been in place for a long time now so we took a look at it and, especially when there are restrictions on what people can do, we said ‘are these restrictions really necessary?'" said FWC Hunting and Game Management Director Diane Eggeman.

J.D. Johnson is a retired law officer who runs the Talon Shooting Range. He's also a hunter, who is feeling the effects of full volume shooting today.

"Over the years of shooting and hunting I've lost over half of my hearing, it's a very common issue with shooters and hunters," said Johnson.

Geared up with eye protection and noise cancelling headphones, Johnson showed us the difference between a hunting rifle without, and with the lethal stealth. No headphones were required for a the demonstration with a suppressor.

National anti-gun groups are opposed because they say not being able to hear the shot, could be dangerous for others in the area. The FWC says they're getting the same pushback. But Johnson says the concern is overblown.

"It's not going to completely, unlike you see in the Hollywood movies, it's not going to make the gun silent," said Johnson.

Floridians cannot purchase silencers in the state without approval from the state Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms bureau. The FWC will discuss legalizing the silencers at their board meeting on Sept. 10.

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