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Ohio bill allowing firearms silencers clears panel

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state legislative committee has approved a bill that would let Ohio hunters use firearms silencers, sending the measure to the full Ohio House.

Last month, lawmakers and their aides got a hands-on look at the devices and listened to silenced and unsilenced weapons.

The measure cleared the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday with bipartisan support.

It would allow licensed Ohio hunters to use the silencers while hunting certain birds and other wild game, including squirrels, rabbits and white-tailed deer. Only those authorized under state and federal laws could use the suppressor, which must be properly registered.

Backers of suppressors say they protect hunters' hearing, make field commands easier to hear and reduce disruptions to neighbors. Opponents say quieter weapons are less safe and easier to use illegally.

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