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Published February 08, 2013, 01:23 PM

Bill to OK Silencers Puts Legal Practice on Books

Some North Dakota lawmakers were surprised to hear about a bill to allow silencers on hunting rifles. Turns out the devices have always been legal.

FARGO — Some North Dakota lawmakers were surprised to hear about a bill to allow silencers on hunting rifles. Turns out the devices have always been legal.

Fargo Republican Rep. Joe Heilman sponsored the proposal. He says lawmakers want to get the practice on the books in case state Game and Fish Department officials decide one day to eliminate suppressors. The department would then have to go through the Legislature.

Some hunters say silencers get a bad rap because they conjure up images of Hollywood characters firing weapons that barely make a sound.

Fargo hunter Dan Liane says a gun with a suppressor will still make a "fairly loud crack," but it is still easier on the ears than shooting without one.

Suppressors are legal in many states, including South Dakota.

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