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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Hearing Conditions vs. Rifle Silencer  (Read 212 times)

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  • Manatee
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  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
  • Posts: 19215
November 9, 2017

Question: I have substantial hearing loss and my doctor recommends surgery to correct my problem. The issue is that my hearing would be very sensitive to noise, and shooting a rifle could actually damage it greatly. I donít want to have to give up hunting though, so is there an exception for the hearing impaired where I could use a silencer on my rifle? (Carlos M.)

Answer: No. Section 33410 of the California Penal Code regulates the possession and use of silencers, also known as suppressors, with very specific exemptions for the military and law enforcement personnel. Penalties for mere possession in California are quite severe.

California Penal Code Section 33410 states that any person, firm, or corporation who within this state possesses a silencer is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or by a fine not to exceed $10,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment. There are no exceptions for hunting or for people suffering from hearing impairment. We recommend that you use hearing protection ó which is both legal and prudent.


  • Sand Dab
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  • Location: Napa, CA;
  • Date Registered: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 49
there are some really great noise reduction devices that allow you to hear while hunting, but block the high decibel noise of the rifle shot.  Kind of expensive but beats going deaf.
Manta Ray 14'; Magic 14.5'