CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming hunters could use guns equipped with silencers to kill predators and non-game animals but could not use them for hunting big game under a bill the state House of Representatives advanced Monday.
The Wyoming Senate earlier had passed a version of the bill that would allow the firearm accessories for all hunting. The House amended it to specify that silencers wouldn’t be allowed for hunting elk, deer and similar game.
Wyoming is one of the few western states that bar hunters from using the devices. Proponents say silencers can help save hunters’ hearing. But some critics say using silencers is unsporting and potentially dangerous since hunters won’t be able to tell when others are shooting.
Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, proposed the amendment to prohibit using silencers for big game.
“I know when I hunt, and I hunt in the woods, I like to hear that loud report, that loud crack, particularly when somebody’s close to let me know where they’re at,” Sommers said. He said allowing silencers for big game would be a hunter safety issue.
“I do support their use with predators and trophy game animals,” Sommers said. “I think with trophy game, you’re looking mainly at wolves being hunted. Mountain lions are…