The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted rules permitting the use of firearm silencers for the taking of alligators, game animals or game birds.
“These devices are already legal for hunting exotic animals, including feral hogs, and there is no resource- or enforcement-related reason to prohibit these devices for hunting alligators, game animals or game birds,” said Scott Vaca, TPWD Assistant Chief of Wildlife Enforcement.
The regulation change does not relieve any person of the obligation to comply with applicable federal, state, or local law governing the possession or use of firearm silencers. Firearms silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act. They are legal for individuals to possess and use for lawful purposes in 39 states, including Texas. However, a prospective user must go through an application process administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which requires a Federal tax payment of $200 and a thorough criminal background check.
While silencers (suppressors) do not eliminate the sound of a firearm, they do reduce the muzzle report in a manner similar to the way that a muffler reduces exhaust noise from a vehicle.
According to the National Rifle Association, noise complaints are occurring more frequently against shooting ranges, informal shooting areas and hunting lands throughout the country. Increased use of suppressors may help to eliminate many of these complaints.