Target: Montana Governor Steve Bullock
Goal: Don’t let hunters kill wolves and mountain lions with rifles outfitted with silencers.
Montanans could soon be able to hunt and kill the state’s wolves and mountain lions with rifles outfitted with silencers, if legislation introduced by State Representative Kirk Wagoner becomes law. Not only would this make gun silencers more accessible to criminals, but it would put countless beautiful apex predators at risk. Demand that the governor of Montana veto this legislation when it arrives on his desk.
Representative Wagoner’s bill is ostensibly about “protecting hunters’ hearing,” but that doesn’t really add up. If hunters want to protect their hearing, they can wear the protective earplugs or noise-canceling headphones that are already necessary when they practice at shooting ranges—there is no need to attach a silencer to their gun.
It seems more likely that Wagoner is just more interested in making it easier to kill wolves and mountain lions in his state by taking away the only advantage these animals have when a gun pointed right at them: the chance to bolt away at the sound of a gunshot that misses them. If hunters have silencers on their rifles, these animals won’t be able to know when they are being shot at, and hunters can just continue to shoot at them until they hit and kill them.
Wolves and mountain lions need to be protected, not turned into fish in a barrel. Unfortunately though, this proposal is poised to pass Montana’s Republican-controlled legislature. Sign the petition below to demand that Montana Governor Steve Bullock veto Wagoner’s bill when it arrives on his desk.
Dear Governor Bullock,
I am writing you today regarding House Bill 450, a piece of legislation legalizing hunting wolves and mountain lions with silenced rifles that is likely to reach your desk in the very near future. It is a destructive, regressive bill that should be vetoed without a second thought.
Both mountain lions and wolves are apex predators that are vital to Montana’s ecosystem. Your state should be protecting them. Unfortunately, that is exactly the opposite of what HB 450 would do. By letting hunters use silenced rifles to hunt these animals, the bill would virtually guarantee that every hunt is successful, because the animals would not be able to dart away at the sound of a gunshot if a hunter’s first shot missed them.
Hunters could just continue sending bullets downrange until one of them met its mark. Not only is this profoundly unsportsmanlike, but it puts countless individual animals at risk. And that’s not even mentioning that allowing hunters access to rifle silencers means that they could very easily get in the hands of criminals.
This legislation is not what hunters need, not what these animals need, and not what your state needs. I demand that you veto House Bill 450 when it arrives on your desk.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Abujoy via Wikimedia Commons