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Jan 7, 2016 5:10 PM

Landrigan: Silence might not be golden for animals if NH bill allowing gun silencers passes

CONCORD - Yes, silence is golden.

But to an unsuspecting animal in the woods, silence is deadly - especially under a fast-moving bill at the N.H. State House.

It was a serious - and also light-hearted - debate on Thursday.

Hunters in New Hampshire soon may have a new stealth weapon to hunt - gun silencers.

"There is a demand. People want to use suppressors and I want the hunters to come to New Hampshire because that is money for the state,’’ says State Rep. John Burt, R-Goffstown.

Silencers have been illegal since 1999, but 35 states allow them.

The Shooting Sports Foundation wants this change to permit them, but Fish and Game and Timberland Owners for Safety do not.

"It will make it more difficult for people to hear when there are hunters actively hunting in the woods,’’ says Rep. Jonathan Manley, D-Barrington, who fought the bill.

Supporters claim an unsuspecting Bambi is better off killed quickly than to die slowly from a gut shot.

"As some hunters know, you may only wound an animal on the first shot; wouldn’t a second, quicker follow up shot be a more humane approach?’’ said Rep. Joseph Hannon, R-Lee.

Leave it to the legislator who gives hot dogs once a year to supply the comic relief.

"Usually mostly the guys over 40 they already have heating loss so when their wives are 'Na, na, na, na at them,' I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’’ Burt chuckled.

The House voted, 186-126, to approve this bill left over from 2015.

It's heading to the State Senate for more review.

I’ve been doing this 30 years, and I am always surprised in this House chamber what grabs the attention and sometimes the humor.

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