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Muffled gunshots unsafe

Before the New Year, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law that would allow hunters to use soup-canned sized noise suppressors on guns for certain wildlife, such as deer and game birds.

This makes Ohio among more than 30 states to pass such a law.

Supporters of the bill say allowing noise suppressors on firearms will curb hunters’ hearing loss, since earplugs and other wearable noise muffling devices diminish hunter’s awareness of their surroundings.

Supporters also insist suppressors would lessen noise pollution in developed areas that border hunting lands.

While these points are valid, hunters are not the only ones who must keep safety in mind during hunting season.

For people who live on or near lands that are trafficked by game hunters, being able to hear gunshots is an important indicator for those people to stay clear of a particular area. While noise suppressors are not silencers, opponents of the bill worry accidental shootings may arise — also a valid point.

It seems, however, as if there are more supporters than opponents for the bill, which goes into effect in three months. But with the high cost associated with suppressors — an average of $400 plus a $200 transfer tax and background check — these soon-to-be legal devices won’t likely fly off the shelves.

Regardless of how many hunters will choose to take advantage of the new law, we encourage each and every gun owner to practice safe and responsible gun control.