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LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) The state will begin offering permits for game hunters to use silencers on their guns, effective Sept. 1.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted rules in March that permit the use of silencers for the hunting of alligators, game animals or game birds. Such devices already were legal for the hunting of exotic animals, including feral hogs.

However, hunters will still have to apply for state permits to have and use silencers.

Longview gun dealer Bob Godell tells the Longview News-Journal the change is long overdue. Longview hunter Earl Ates, a lifelong National Rifle Association member, says he doubts the benefits of silent hunting, though, and worries about its use for poaching and other illegal activities. He says silencers can also go against making a humane kill.

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