Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Pro-Gun Representatives Introduce Hearing Protection Act to Reform Outdated Suppressor Laws

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pro-Gun Representatives Introduce Hearing Protection Act to Reform Outdated Suppressor Laws

On Thursday, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 3799, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). Joining him were 10 co-sponsors, including Representatives Frank Guinta (R-NH), John Carter (R-TX), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Chris Collins (R-NY), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mia Love (R-UT), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), and Chris Stewart (R-UT). The HPA would remove sound suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA), leaving them to be treated as ordinary firearms subject to the usual NICS check and Form 4473 for dealer sales. Their primary function is to reduce the muzzle report of the firearm to which they are attached, protecting the hearing of the firearm’s operator and reducing noise and disturbance to those in nearby vicinities. 

Currently, suppressors (misleadingly referred to as “silencers” in federal law) are subject to the NFA’s cumbersome and lengthy application, “CLEO sign-off,” and $200 taxation provisions. This is so, even though the devices themselves are completely harmless. Their primary function is to reduce the muzzle report of the firearm to which they are attached, protecting the hearing of the firearm’s operator and reducing noise and disturbance to those in nearby vicinities. Unlike their portrayal in popular movies and television shows, the devices do not render firearms all but soundless. They do, however, make them safer and quieter to operate, reducing the sound that reaches the shooter by about the same degree as a pair of earplugs or earmuffs.  

Although they have been subject to heightened regulation under federal law since 1934, suppressors have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more hunters and firearm enthusiasts have discovered their benefits. Suppressors may be legally obtained in 41 states, and they are lawful for hunting in 37. Ironically, regulation of suppressors is one area where American gun owners are at a relative disadvantage to their counterparts in other countries. Many European nations, for example, place no regulations on their acquisition or use. Here in the U.S., it is inconsistent, to say the least, that while mufflers are legally required or commonly included on a various noise-producing tools – including cars, lawn mowers, and chainsaws – the law discourages their use on firearms.  

Suppressors may be legally obtained in 41 states, and they are lawful for hunting in 37. Ironically, regulation of suppressors is one area where American gun owners are at a relative disadvantage to their counterparts in other countries. Many European nations, for example, place no regulations on their acquisition or use. 

Suppressors are also considered “firearms” under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, and they would continue to be so under the HPA.  This means that their commercial manufacturers and dealers would have to be licensed, background checks and record-keeping requirements would continue apply to retail sales, and people with serious criminal histories or prior mental health commitments or adjudications still could not possess them. They would, however, be more readily available to law-abiding gun owners who could benefit from their use.

To ensure the pendency of the HPA does not discourage people from acting on their rights to acquire suppressors in the meantime, the Act would also allow those who acquire a suppressor after October 22, 2015, but before the Act’s effective date, to obtain a refund of the NFA’s $200 tax.

The NRA heartily supports the HPA and thanks Rep. Salmon and his cosponsors for their leadership in this important effort.  In addition, as a leading voice in the industry, the American Suppressor Association has provided valuable insight to the creation of the Hearing Protection Act.

We urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Hearing Protection Act. “Suppressors benefit all involved in the hunting and shooting sports,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox. “It’s time to bring the law in line with modern technology.”

 

 

TRENDING NOW
“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

On March 12, a two-week campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to encourage subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to surrender firearms, ammunition, weapons, and any other object even vaguely reminiscent of a gun ...

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Choke Point “Lite”

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

Choke Point “Lite”

Ten years ago, the Obama Administration introduced “Operation Choke Point,” a program to weaponize the banking industry and financial service providers against certain lawful businesses and merchants. Implemented by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and ...

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the ...

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider S.513, legislation which would create a rebuttable presumption of no bail for gun offenses.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

California: Anti-Gun Bills Eligible for Floor Votes

Saturday, May 21, 2022

California: Anti-Gun Bills Eligible for Floor Votes

On Thursday, both the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their suspense files prior to the fiscal deadline, passing a number of anti-gun bills and one pro-hunting bill. These bills will now be eligible ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

Alaska: Legislature Fails to Pass Pro-2A Legislation as it Adjourns

Friday, May 20, 2022

Alaska: Legislature Fails to Pass Pro-2A Legislation as it Adjourns

At midnight on Wednesday, the Alaska Legislature adjourned from its 2022 Legislative Session. 

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Today, Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, constitutional carry, into law. Georgia is now the 25th constitutional carry state, and the fourth to join that group in 2022. Half of the country now recognizes the right ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.