Senate passes bills to allow hunting with silencers, require cursive writing instruction

Posted April 25, 2013

— Hunters would able to be, as Elmer Fudd might say, "vewy, vewy quiet" under a bill that cleared the state Senate Thursday. 

Senate Bill 201 would allow hunters to use suppressors, what many people colloquially call silencers, while in the woods. The devices decrease the amount of noise a rifle makes when a shot is fired. 

The measure first came up for a vote on the Senate floor Monday night, where it was pilloried by Republicans and Democrats alike. Sen. Jerry Tilliman, R-Randolph, said he worried about being able to hear people who were hunting on his property.

"If they had suppressors, I probably wouldn't know they were there," Tillman said Monday night, saying that could present a safety issue. 

However, on Thursday, Republican opponents of the bill were mostly silent. 

Sen. Shirley Randleman, R-Wilkes, explained that those who wanted a suppressor had to go through a lengthy federal process, including paying a tax and submitting a fingerprint card. 

The bill, she said, would let hunters prevent hearing loss by dampening the noise of their weapons. As well, she said, a quieter shot would be less likely to scatter packs of nuisance animals, like feral hogs, who farmers frequently want to eliminate.

Sen. Michael Walters, D-Robeson, still objected to the measure, saying it could present a safety issue to farm hands and forestry workers and others who make a living outdoors.

"We have to protect our workers and our family farms and our families," he said.

The measure now goes to the House.

Handwriting bill passes

Senators also passed a bill that would require that cursive handwriting and multiplication tables be taught in public elementary schools.

The measure is virtually identical to a bill that has already passed the House. However, in order to be sent to Gov. Pat McCrory, the same version of the bill must be passed by both chambers. 

Asheville water bill gets change

A bill that would turn Asheville's water system over to a regional authority got a slight modification Thursday before being sent back to the House, where the measure originated.

The bill allows other local governments around the state to create regional water and sewer authorities. However, Wake County lawmakers wanted assurance that their cities and towns would not be forced to participate in any such agreements. So, Senators added a provision to the bill that said, with the exception of the Asheville system, all cities and counties in an area would have to agree to form a regional authority before one could be created.

"If that had been followed in (Asheville's) case, you wouldn't hear a peep out of me," said Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe. However, he objected to Asheville and Buncombe County being forced to turn over the city's water system to a regional authority that would include neighboring Henderson County and small towns.

"You don't start a regional agreement and get everybody's water and sewer tied up in it in a shotgun marriage," Nesbitt said.

Although he often spars with his Republican colleague Tom Apodcaca, of Henderson County, on western North Carolina issues, Nesbitt reserved his ire for House lawmakers from the area. The Democrat said that Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, was being mean-spirited by pushing this bill.

"I don't think he (Moffitt) is as interested in getting anything done as he is in punishing Asheville," Nesbitt said.

Moffitt was not immediately available to comment.

The measure now returns to the House, which must agree to the Senate changes before the measure heads to McCrory.


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  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Apr 29, 2013

    "Silencers would be real useful if you want to kill folks as well." - Grand Union

    "While gunfire can be unnerving I would rather know where the hunters are vs. not knowing where the hunters are for saftey reasons for myself , family and our animals." - nomo

    "Silencing hunters rifles will just increase illegal hunting. They come on my land despite posted warnings everywhere. They have shot very close to my house and 3 have been arrested in the past..." - FairPlay

    Good thoughts. Once again, the state legislators have submitted a poorly considered bill, carefully limited any meaningful discussion, then collected McCrory's rubber stamp.

  • teleman60 Apr 26, 2013

    The Boston terrorists used FIREWORKS to recover enough black powder to create the bombs that were used to maim 170 people. Are our republican friends OBLIVIOUS to this fact?

    Should our already taxed government have to now be inundated by applications for silencer permits when we can't even control fireworks enough to stop potential terrorists?

    Welcome to republican world where terrorists legally buying bomb making powder and silencers are OK with republicans!

  • teleman60 Apr 26, 2013

    Welcome to republican world where possessing and using SILENCERS is something all hunters should have the right to do????


    The possession and use of silencers by civilians HAS BEEN FOR DECADES OUTLAWED by the BATF -- but republicans think it a good JOBS BILL.

    This insanity MUST END.

    republican world where you worst nightmares are tomorrows laws.

  • kdogwnc Apr 26, 2013

    I guess the idea of the hunting with silencer bill is to make private property owners hire security guards to keep hunters from trespassing....

  • Grand Union Apr 26, 2013

    If shooting is damaging your ears, wear protectors or don't shoot.....

  • Grand Union Apr 26, 2013

    Is this so they can get more shots off with their AR-15s with big mags before every creature for miles has bolted? Silencers would be real useful if you want to kill folks as well.......

  • goldenosprey Apr 26, 2013

    Jobs, jobs, jobs, Mr. Tillis?

  • cruzinlong Apr 26, 2013

    this is such a bad idea ,Buck Newton along with many other of our newly elected legislators seems to be coming up with a LOT of those... especially if you live near where a lot of hunting goes on.
    While gunfire can be unnerving I would rather know where the hunters are vs. not knowing where the hunters are for saftey reasons for myself , family and our animals.

  • FairPlay Apr 26, 2013

    Silencing hunters rifles will just increase illegal hunting. They come on my land despite posted warnings everywhere. They have shot very close to my house and 3 have been arrested in the past. If we cannot here them it creates a danger for my dogs and cats who come in when they hear guns. Hate this idea.

  • handwritingrepair Apr 26, 2013

    For those who have followed the course of the "Back to Basics" Bull from its beginnings in the House β€” where it is now headed, once again, to be reconciled with its Senate version before the governor can sign itβ€” it's been interesting to see the level of the legislative discussions on this bill swiftly descend. House testimony on the bill began with claims presented to the Educstion Committee as factual β€” which soon turned out not to be.
    After those claims had been exposed, what could be left? Personal anecdote and reminiscences: these could not be verified, after all β€” these composed yesterday's Senate discussion. (The eight brief minutes of that discussion would have been much longer, and much more difficult for the Senate's members, if that discussion had had to mention the issues of integrity and accuracy which have become notorious in connections with the bill's content and its presumed support.)

    Since I do not live in North Carolina, I wonder whether perhaps gre