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FWS lists prairie chicken as threatened -3/28/2014, 9:47 AM

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Tests confirm 5 new CWD cases -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

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Prairie chicken numbers tumble -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Counties meet FWS, present plans -9/20/2013, 12:25 PM

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What to do when the doves fly away -- too early -8/17/2012, 11:40 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Silencer law provides a perplexing set of issues

Published on -4/22/2011, 2:19 PM

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At first glance, it was a pretty straightforward topic when a bill allowing the use of silencers while hunting, fishing or trapping passed the Legislature.

Since then, however, several questions have been raised. And concerns. Some of them all my own.

Gov. Sam Brownback quietly signed the bill into law on March 31.

Since then, there's been a number of comments about the bill on blogs and forums, some in response to "media reports."

Seems I've written the only "media report," other than posts and blogs from other media-types who have rushed forward to defend the use and need of silencers in Kansas.

And most take issue with the name, ignoring the idea that they were first silencers, later renamed suppressors because silencer was too much of a political hot potato.

Go ahead and google silencers and you'll still get a number of returns. Even the gun industry can't decide if they're silencers or suppressors.

Oh, and don't forget, the defenders argue, silencers/suppressors don't silence the report from the gunshot.

And yet people pay hundreds, perhaps even thousands for technology that doesn't work?

I'm missing something there.

Bear in mind, however, I'm one of those people who live out in the country, someone who has been forced to drive to work on the opening day of firearms deer season.

There's a law that deer hunters must wear orange, but I'm of the opinion that we innocent travelers should be the ones wearing orange.

Now, throw in the fact that some of these reckless -- and yes there are many, many reckless deer hunters -- can use tools to quiet the sound of the rifle shot.

To be honest, I'd much rather be able to hear it when someone is shooting in the area. At least I'd have a chance to duck, even if it's much too late.

What I really don't understand, however, is why the Legislature decided to allow the use of silencers while fishing or furharvesting.

I mean really?

As several posters on forums have stated, why does an angler need a silencer while fishing?

Ditto for furharvesters.

I'd presume most trappers would arm themselves with .22-caliber pistols or rifles to dispatch animals in traps. It would be quick, humane and relatively quiet.

But above all, if silencers don't suppress, then what's the point?

If you ask me, and no one did, it seems the point is a few well-heeled and influential lobbyists who are all things gun-related, pushed for the silencers law. That would include the National Rifle Association.

The Legislature for some reason didn't even blink, and passed it almost unanimously.

Of course, who would be foolish enough to think there are other more important issues at hand? Silly me.

And shame on legislators passing it and Brownback for signing it. It's not a good law.

But what scares me more is what's next, what foolish law will legislators approve?

I know, let's pass a measure allowing tax deductions when the state can't bring in enough money to pay its bills.

Or perhaps it's time to allow fully automatic weapons for hunting, fishing or furharvesting?

I wouldn't be surprised.

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