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Gun suppressors gaining popularity in Ohio

NEWTOWN, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- They are the stuff of movie myth and hitman mystique.

We know about silencers thanks to the arsenal of guys like James Bond.

But silencers, more accurately known as suppressors, are becoming more and more mainstream in the world of shooting. They're so popular right now that at gun shops and shooting ranges like ready line in Newtown, they've become a hot-ticket item.

Ohio has become the No. 4 state in the nation for the sale of suppressors, and they're expected to become even more popular if a bill to legalize them for hunting passes in the Ohio senate.

Already legal for hunting in 29 states, suppressors are legal to own in all but nine others.

State representative, John Becker, is one of the sponsors of the bill to legalize them for hunters in Ohio.

Becker admits he's not a hunter or a gun guy, but thinks the difference these things make when it comes to hearing loss justifies the legislation.

We decided to find out.

On the range at Ready Line, we checked the noise level on a 22 caliber pistol. It averaged about 100 decibels. Then we put a $350 Gemtech suppressor on it and the sound level dropped down to 80 or 82 decibels.

A noticeable difference.

On a bigger, louder weapon like a 223 rifle, commonly used for predator hunting, the "can", as it's called, made the rifle's blast. Normally around 118 decibels sounds like a much more tolerable 22 100 to 104 decibels.

In order to buy a suppressor, you need to fill out a federal application and get approval from the chief law-enforcement person in your community.

The form then goes to both the FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The fee is $200 and will take close to nine months to get federal approval.

While you're waiting though, you can still shoot your suppressor at a place like Ready Line you just can't leave with it.

Chris Roma says shooting like James Bond is great training.

With more interest nationally on both sides of the gun issue, it's possible this has just become another sign of the sound of the times.

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