The Hearing Protection Act – The Legal Brief ~ VIDEO

The Gun Collective
The Gun Collective

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world.

I’m your host Adam Kraut and I would appreciate your support in my bid for the NRA Board of Directors.

Go check out out my website adamkraut.com to learn more about that. Now, today we’re headed back to the National Firearms Act or NFA and talking about a topic a lot of you have asked me about in the comments and on our live chats about, the Hearing Protection Act.

The Hearing Protection Act or HPA was introduced in 2015 by Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona. A simple one page bill, amazing I know, the HPA would remove the term silencer from the definition of a firearm under the NFA removing it from the purview of the NFA with regard to taxable transfers. It also would prevent any state from imposing a tax or a marking and record keeping requirement for silencers. It also provides for a tax credit on the transfer tax that was paid on any transfers from the date of the introduction of the bill. In other words, it’s a step in the direction of dismantling the NFA.

With the Republicans retaining control of the House and Senate and winning the presidency, there is a lot of talk about the action this new administration will take once it begins its term. A number of individuals and now blogs have posted that the Hearing Protection Act will be passed in as little as 60 days. Before we go any further I have to preface the next part. I think the bill is great and good for everyone, both individuals like myself and the industry. I mean, who wants to pay a $200 tax and wait 8 months to have a transfer approved? Especially for something that is meant to protect one’s hearing. No one right?

I did call my Representative and Senators when this bill was introduced. That said, I think the optimism in the speed which this bill may be passed potentially is overlooking the realities of passing legislation. Simply put, I wouldn’t hold my breath and stop buying silencers in the meantime because it might be a while, potentially a long while.

For some context, in the 109th Congress, which ran from 2005 to 2006 over 10,500 bills were introduced and only 440 became law which equates to roughly 2 percent. See my point?

SIG SAUER SRD 338 TI QD Silencer
SIG SAUER SRD 338 TI QD Silencer

We need to think back to our high school civics class, or at least what should have been taught in it, to understand how a bill becomes a law.

I’ve included a link to the fun Schoolhouse Rock video to give a quick visual for the process, but there is a bit more to it. We’re going to go through a 10,000 foot overview of the process.

In the House a bill is introduced and assigned a number. It is then referred to the Speaker of the House who assigns it to a committee or committees who has jurisdiction over the topic relevant to their committee. When this bill was introduced it was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Judiciary Committee, which is where it still remains.

The committees hold hearings related to the bill and may or may not edit the content of the bill itself. If the committee agrees to the language it will then vote for it to be reported to the floor. Its entirely possibly that a bill makes it this far and then dies.

After being reported to the floor, the Speaker of the House decides what bills will be considered and in what order. Most bills end up going to the Rules Committee which creates the rules that will govern the procedures of how a bill is considered by the House. If a bill actually makes it to the floor for a vote and passes, it then has to go over to the Senate for a similar process.

Unless, the same bill was also introduced in the Senate, which is what happened with the HPA. The process for a bill making it through the Senate is similar in the sense of it is reported to a committee where it may be modified and is then debated on the floor. The HPA currently is in the Senate Finance Committee.

Perhaps the most notable difference between the House and Senate, is that in the Senate, there are no rules relating to the debate of a bill.

In essence, a bill could make it as far as the floor and die there. Unlike the House which has rules related to the debate, generally speaking, the Senate does not. In other words, a Senator could filibuster a bill by debating it to death, unless the Senators invoke cloture. Now I’m sure at this point your eyes are crossed and you just want to know where this ends. Cloture and no that isn’t closure, requires at least 60 senators to invoke and would force the end of debate on a bill which would then turn into a vote.

Herein lies a big problem for the Hearing Protection Act with the current makeup of our legislature. The Republicans will hold 51 seats in the Senate in the next Congress. This is 9 short of the required number to invoke cloture. And bear in mind, not all 51 senators that are Republican are exactly staunch Second Amendment supporters. So that means you’d likely have to find at least 10 or more Democratic Senators who would invoke cloture to vote on the bill. Given the topic and the stance of most of the Democratic Senators on the Second Amendment, that might be a tough sell.

If the bill makes it to the floor for a vote in both chambers and they both pass the same bill, which almost never happens, it then goes to the President’s desk for signature. Otherwise, it goes to a committee which attempts to resolve the differences between the two bills to create one final bill.

So what was the point of this quick civics lesson?

Even though the Republicans will have a majority in Congress and control the White House in 2017, it is not a guarantee legislation will make it to the President’s desk. While the odds for passing pro-gun legislation are better, it is not going to be a given that if a bill is introduced it will become law. Both bills remain in committee currently and haven’t even made it to the floor. And since legislation is only good for two years before it must be reintroduced, it will have to start the process all over again come the next Congress. So I wouldn’t hold off on silencer purchases on the hopes that this bill becomes a law anytime soon.

That said, when the next Congress goes into session and the bills are reintroduced, I’ll be on the phone demanding my Representative and Senators support this important bill. I expect all of you to do the same. Unsure what to say? Among other things be sure to highlight the positives of silencers, the fact they protect your hearing and stops noise pollution in areas where there are gun ranges.

SilencerCo Teams Up with Nighthawk Custom to Produce 1911 and Osprey 45K Summit Package
SilencerCo & Nighthawk Custom – 1911 and Osprey 45K Summit Package

Hopefully that explains a little more about the Hearing Protection Act and the possibility of it becoming law in the near future. If you guys liked this episode, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends. Have a question you want answered on this show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Be sure to check out my website adamkraut.com for more information on my quest to serve YOU on the NRA Board of Directors. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch us on social media.

And as always thanks for watching!

Links for this episode:

  • Hearing Protection Act – H.R. 3799 : https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3799/text
  • Hearing Protection Act – S. 2236 : https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2236/text
  • Firearm – 26 USC § 5845 : https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
  • Effect on State Law – 18 USC § 927 : https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/927
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law – Schoolhouse Rock : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otbml6WIQPo
  • More in Depth Video – How a Bill Becomes a Law : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66f4-NKEYz4
  • The Legislative Process : https://www.congress.gov/legislative-process
  • Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate : http://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/3d51be23-64f8-448e-aa14-10ef0f94b77e.pdf
  • Cloture : http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_index_subjects/Cloture_vrd.htm

About The Gun Collective

The Gun Collective is dedicated to bringing you the highest quality, fast paced gun content possible. Started in June 2015 by Jon Patton, TGC has rapidly taken off to become a go-to source for the things you need to know without a bunch of BS. Please check out TheGunCollective.com to learn more and see what the hype is all about!

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Wolf AngelRichardDJJorgeNorberto PedaceInfidel7.62 Recent comment authors
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DJ
Guest
DJ

An old fashioned church revival of the 2nd Amendment for the taking…. With the unexpected election of a sympathetic President-elect and control of Congress coming in 2017, the time to regain lost inalienable Civil Rights that have been deliberately infringed upon specific to our 2nd Amendment is right here in front of us for the taking. A gigantic window of opportunity of this major magnitude to repossess and realize our forgotten freedoms that were legislated literally out of existance in 1934, 1968 and 1986 until NOW can NOT be over emphasized. If suppressors were deleted from the precomputer NFA registry… Read more »

JorgeNorberto Pedace
Guest
JorgeNorberto Pedace

NO HAY QUE EQUIVOCARSE SEÑORES,EL PROBLEMA CON LOS SILENCIADORES NO EXISTE PORQUE
HAYA QUIENES NO DESEEN ESTAR MOLESTOS CON EL RUIDO DE LOS ESTAMPIDOS QUE PRODUCEN
LOS DISPAROS,SINO POR ALGO MUCHÍSIMO MÁS GRAVE,QUE ES UTILIZAR A LOS SILENCIADORES ,
PARA PROTEGER LA IDENTIDAD DE QUIENES TIENEN EN MENTE COMETER UN CRIMEN DE LESA HU
MANIDAD . EXISTEN PARA LAS MOLESTIAS AUDITIVAS,PROTECTORES,ESO YA NO ES NOVEDAD,PERO
CUIDADO CON CAMBIAR EL SENTIDO DE LAS COSAS.

Wolf Angel
Guest
Wolf Angel

My Spanish is not so good, but I don’t worry too much about criminals using suppressors, because they don’t now. Suppressors are easy to make. For a few hundred dollars you can set up an assembly line making quality suppressors from fuel filters. Even cheaper using oil filters with adapters. Even aluminum flashlights have been converted. Take a look online searching for solvent trap. And please don’t violate the law, for informative purposes only.

Infidel7.62
Guest
Infidel7.62

Bills take forever to get passed. HR 218 had 400 cosponsors yet it was stuck in committee for over 20 years until a discharge petition brought it to the floor for a vote. The Social Security Fairness Act has had more than 200 cosponsors and is still stuck in committee for the last 20 years. It is sad that one committee chairman can hold up legislation like this. We may all have to write our reps and demand they sign a discharge petition just to get the bill to the floor for a vote.

Anthony Cress
Guest
Anthony Cress

I agree with you, John. Imagine a day when our military starts training all personnel, from recruits on up, with silencer equipped firearms. There are so many people who have permanent, irreversible hearing loss due to their time serving in the military (I have an uncle who suffers from hearing loss, for which he could not even get hearing aids from the VA). Many of these go into law enforcement or continue to go to the gun ranges long after they are discharged from military service. So, although it is not the FAULT of the military, what I am saying… Read more »

Al Feldore
Guest
Al Feldore

Not to be critical, but you strike on another problem. Why does it take years to get laws passed? The problem, what is in this bill for the slothful people of congress who still exist? Also, if you think that our wonderful government is going to give up a $200 per item revenue stream, you are delusional. Based on past evidence one of two things will happen. First a revision will be made that says the $200 per item tax will now be a fee on the manufacture of silencers and placed on each one the moment they are serialized… Read more »

Duane J.
Guest
Duane J.

An old fashioned church revival of the 2nd Amendment for the taking…. With the unexpected election of a sympathetic President-elect and control of Congress coming in 2017, the time to regain lost inalienable Civil Rights that have been deliberately infringed upon specific to our 2nd Amendment is right here in front of us for the taking. A gigantic window of opportunity of this major magnitude to repossess and realize our forgotten freedoms that were legislated literally out of existance in 1934, 1968 and 1986 until NOW can NOT be over emphasized. If suppressors were deleted from the precomputer NFA registry… Read more »

DJ
Guest
DJ

An old fashioned church revival of the 2nd Amendment for the taking…. With the unexpected election of a sympathetic President-elect and control of Congress coming in 2017, the time to regain lost inalienable Civil Rights that have been deliberately infringed upon specific to our 2nd Amendment is right here in front of us for the taking. A gigantic window of opportunity of this major magnitude to repossess and realize our forgotten freedoms that were legislated literally out of existance in 1934, 1968 and 1986 until NOW can NOT be over emphasized. If suppressors were deleted from the precomputer NFA registry… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

Superbly laid out.
Infringement is the operative word while the
same ilk are rushing to legalize POT and
Normalize illegal aliens and refugees who
Are ignorant of any rights the rest of us hold dear.

John W Bletsch
Guest
John W Bletsch

Being a veteran with severe hearing loss every little bit helps. My hearing loss began in the USMC with largely unprotected hearing and the .50 cal MG. Back in those days, ear plugs were a wad of TP or a cigarette filter. If I had then what I have now my hearing would be better.
This is a good law with benefit for many including small children.