Iowa House File 2043, which would legalize the ownership and possession of firearm sound suppressors, passed the House Judiciary Subcommittee this week by a 2-1 vote and is expected to have adequate support in the General Assembly for passage during the current session.
HF 2043 was introduced by state Representatives Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) and Terry Baxter (R-Garner).
Iowa remains one of the few states that have yet to address the ownership and use of firearms suppressors. It is currently legal to hunt with a suppressor in 37 states, and 41 states permit private ownership of suppressors.
Interest in suppressor use has increased exponentially in the past few years, as shooters and hunters have become more aware of potential hearing damage caused by firearms. Suppressors also reduce felt recoil and muzzle rise, and in many cases may help increase accuracy. The noise reduction offered by suppressors is seen as a benefit for hunters seeking permission to hunt on private land and in areas of expanding urbanization where hunting is permitted, as well as at shooting ranges located in developed areas.
The measure is supported by The National Rifle Association, a consistent advocate for suppressor use. The NRA has continued its pursuit of this and similar state measures, citing the health and safety benefits of suppressors.
“Suppressors help increase accuracy by reducing felt recoil and shot ‘flinch,’” The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) wrote this week while encouraging Iowa residents to contact their legislation to support HF 2043. “Beginners to shooting sports adhere to a quicker learning curve on average because the muffled sound equates to increased focus and concentration on proper shooting mechanics. Most importantly, suppressors reduce shooters’ risk of hearing damage, which can occur when discharging a firearm without the proper hearing protection. In addition, suppressors can help reduce noise complaints from neighbors, particularly in more densely populated areas.“