Majority favor removing prohibition on hunting with silencers - 250 participants

Mar 05, 2016

New Hampshire first passed a ban on hunting with a silencing device or sound suppressor in the 1940s, along with several other states. A bill which recently passed the New Hampshire House and is now being considered by the Senate, HB 500, would repeal the prohibition. Read more about this issue. On March 5, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you think New Hampshire should allow hunters to use silencing devices or suppressors?”   

“Do you think New Hampshire should allow hunters to use silencing devices or suppressors?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Hunting with Silencers NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 250 participants gave 878 responses

A total of 92% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 8% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 878 responses from 250 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A majority, at 58% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of repealing the ban on using sound suppressors while hunting.

  • " Suppressors could be a great tool to stop noise pollution and not spook wildlife near another hunter.”
  • “Suppressors are designed to keep the noise down and protect the shooter. As a retired Army veteran with significant hearing loss, I am definitely a supporter of suppressors.”
  • “Noise pollution is a big problem, and suppressors help hunters to practice their passion without annoying anyone.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 42%, opposed allowing hunters to use sound suppressors.

  • “There will be increased accidental shootings during hunting season. hunters won't know if there are other people in the area. and it's another unsportsmanlike advantage for the human with the gun chasing the animal without one.”
  • “After living in wooded remote areas I prefer to know when someone is hunting or firing a gun in the surrounding area.”
  • “Is there any sport in using a silencer?”

Other: As noted above, 8% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Debating broader issues related to hunting: “You shouldn't be hunting that close to dwellings where it would be an issue.”
  • Expressing an undecided opinion: “If there is property around you that people hunt, would you want to hear gunfire consistently? It has its pros, it has its cons. I'm staying neutral.”
  • Discussing whether the current ban is effective: “Night poachers are by definition criminals. They are breaking one law to start, do you think that adding a new law will stop them from breaking it?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 



JBenson's picture
Jacquelyn Benson
- Kensington

Mon, 03/28/2016 - 10:49am

After passing the House in February, HB 500, which legalizes the use of silencing devices by hunters in New Hampshire, was unanimously approved by the Senate in March. The bill took effect upon passage. Hunters with questions about the new policy should contact New Hampshire  Fish and Game.

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Related Bill

HB 500 (2015)
Bill Status: Signed by Governor


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