RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A bill allowing North Carolina hunters to install noise suppressors on their rifles or shotguns has passed the Senate, but not before some legislators made a racket about the issue.
The Senate voted 29-16 Thursday in favor of permitting the use of suppressors when the hunter meets federal qualifications to own one, which includes criminal background checks.
Bill sponsor Sen. Shirley Randleman of Wilkesboro says a suppressor reduces shooting noise enough so that hunters with hearing loss don't exacerbate their condition. She told colleagues wearing ear protection lessens the awareness that hunters have of their surroundings.
Sen. Michael Walters of Robeson County is a hunter who opposed the bill. He says suppressors are a safety issue for loggers or children near hunting areas.
The bill now goes to the House.