A group of Boy Scouts in Maine have been given a collection of gear from manufacturers and gun rights groups that will allow them to participate in shooting sports with new rifles, ammunition, and, for the first time in scout history, suppressors.
The Boy Scouts of America's Pine Tree Council got eight American Rimfire .22 rifles from Sturm, Ruger & Co., each with threaded barrels. SilencerCo ponied up two Salvo shotgun suppressors, and Gemtech donated eight screw-on GM-22 rimfire suppressors and 25,000 rounds of the company's subsonic .22LR ammo. A local gun shop also handled the transfer paperwork for free, according to this story from guns.com.
That gear is allowing the scouts at Camp William Hinds in the Sebago Lakes region to use suppressor-equipped rifles, pistols, and shotguns during its week-long summer camps this year.
"Camp William Hinds is moving into the future by becoming the first camp in the Boy Scouts of America to use suppressors to quiet the sound of their guns," said Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association. "We are proud to support their efforts to make the shooting experience safer and more enjoyable for their scouts and neighbors. We hope that this initiative can serve as a model for councils worldwide."
Williams says the devices are gaining more acceptance, as increased awareness of their functionality as safety devices is beginning to overshadow Hollywood-promoted misconceptions http://www.range365.com/suppressors-misperceptions-still-barrier-use, and there are numbers to back up his opinion. The number of registered silencers surged by 38 percent from 571,750 licenses in March 2014 to 792,282 licenses in February 2015, according to figures from the ATF. They are now legal in 41 states.
"Gemtech was honored for the opportunity to help make an already great scouting program even better," Gemtech Project Manager Brande Ehrman told guns.com. "This is the least we can do, considering that the children participated in this program are not only future firearms and suppressor owners, but future leaders of our country; leaders that will hopefully be passing pro Second Amendment laws for years to come."
Ehrman explained it was their hope that other Boy Scout leaders will see how dramatically suppressors improve the shooting experience and incorporate them into their shooting programs across America.
She said the range program will demonstrate that, by using suppressors, the scouts are able to clearly hear and understand their instructor at the range without risking hearing damage. People living in neighboring homes will also not be disturbed by gunfire.