Congress Needs to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

Rifle Suppressor Silencer Can
Congress Needs to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and John Carter (R-TX) – along with 42 co-sponsors – as H.R. 367.

The HPA would remove sound suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and treat them as ordinary firearms under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). As with other firearms, commercial manufacturers, dealers, and importers would still have to be licensed, and the items’ retail sales would be subject to the GCA’s background check and transfer form requirements. 

Currently, suppressors (misleadingly referred to as “silencers” in federal law) are subject to the NFA’s cumbersome and lengthy application process and a $200 tax stamp. Lawful purchasers can expect a raft of red tape and months of waiting. This is so, even though the devices themselves are completely harmless and very rarely used in crime.

Like a muffler on an automobile, suppressors 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. Recoil is also dampened.

Contrary to their portrayal in movies and television shows, suppressors do not render firearms all but soundless. They do, however, make them safer and quieter to operate.

Suppressors have soared in popularity in recent years, as more and more hunters and firearm owners have discovered their benefits. Private ownership is legal in 42 states, and they are lawful for hunting in 40 of those states. 

Ironically, regulation of suppressors is one area where American gun owners are at a relative disadvantage to their counterparts in other countries. In England – which has gone a long way toward eradicating private firearm ownership – suppressors are nevertheless encouraged for private firearm owners and mandatory for uses such as pest control. 

It is inconsistent, if not incoherent, that mufflers are commonly used or even legally required on noise-producing tools in the U.S. – including cars, lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc. – but legally discouraged for use on firearms.

It’s also the height of hypocrisy for gun control groups posing as “safety organizations” and pushing so-called “smart gun” technology to oppose legislation that would increase the safety and reduce the collateral effects of lawfully-owned guns. 

The NRA strongly supports the HPA and thanks its sponsors and co-sponsors in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate for their leadership in this important effort. We also commend the American Suppressor Association, which has provided valuable insight and expertise on this issue.

“Gun owners and sportsmen should be able to enjoy their outdoor heritage with the tools necessary to do so safely. This bill makes it easier for them to do that,” stated NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox.

Please make sure your U.S. senators and congressional representative hear from you on this legislation to protect Second Amendment rights and the health of the American gun owner. It is long past time to discard America’s antiquated and unsupported approach to suppressor regulation.

You can contact your member of Congress via our Write Your Reps tool by clicking HERE or use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

About:
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. Visit: www.nra.org

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Larry
Larry
3 years ago

Pat we both know that criminals don’t obey laws period, so no amount of this is illegal is going to help. I was in the military and can make an improvised suppressor in minutes, so there is no legal protection from improvised suppressors available if criminals want to use them. Yes some will probably used for nefarious purposes, but that is a given. Suppressors carry a hefty price, most criminals won’t pay it. They buy cheap guns, they are just an expense to them, a way to get cash. Any good hit-man already has one made without a serial #… Read more »

Pat Kreitzburg
Pat Kreitzburg
3 years ago

I am on both sides of this controversy. Members of my family are gun club members and shoot on a regular basis. They talk about the noise at the club. They also have ear plugs and use head sets to abate the noise. Also noted that indoor ranges also supply headsets or ear plugs to shooters. So I understand that part. I don’t feel that this bill should be under the guise of Hearing Protection Act when it is just a way for the manufacturers to make more money more freely. What would have happened for instance in the Florida… Read more »

Steve Cary
Steve Cary
3 years ago

Congress is poised to consider at least two 2nd Amendment focused bills: the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill and the Hearing Protection Act of 2017. These bills are not nearly comprehensive enough. And, the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill (at least its initial version) is dangerous, since it would codify a serious error with respect to the 2nd Amendment. Congress should pass a much more extensive bill (as described below) to protect 2nd Amendment rights. A problem with the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill has been that states and localities would continue to be permitted to infringe on 2nd Amendment… Read more »

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

I too have damaged my hearing while target shooting as a young boy. Mine was damaged enough that I lost a full ride Marine Corps scholarship to the Citadel as I could never meet military hearing standards. I currently own three suppressors legally and enjoy not only the protection they give me, but the knowledge that I can shoot my rimfire target rifle without disturbing the neighbors. My 9mm suppressor helps a lot, but as others have stated, it still sounds somewhat like a gunshot and I don’t use it much. I always find movies such as “No Country For… Read more »

Phil
Phil
3 years ago

Silencer Shop is a great place to buy.

Devyn
Devyn
3 years ago

They are called suppressors for a reason. “Silencer’ is a hollywood term and not accurate. Trust me, you will still hear the shot. It just brings it down a bit to a manageable level. You can buy parts online for $40 to turn a Maglite into a silencer. Once again, this change will only affect law abiding citizens. Fear of criminals and murderers using them is asinine, since they can already get kits to build them easily online. At that point it’s an honor system to inscribe the serial number, pay the tax stamp and wait for your paperwork to… Read more »

Mike Kostial
Mike Kostial
3 years ago

As someone who has had hearing problems my whole life and cannot currently shoot any firearms without hearing protection even while hunting (doctor’s orders), I would live to have easier access to be able to purchase a suppressor for any of my firearms. I would not have any issues taking any background checks( or any extra background ground checks for that matter ) as I currently work as a sub contractor on federal government projects and background checks are part of the job.

Charles Vito
Charles Vito
3 years ago

that is also a concern of mine, but either way their going to get them if they want them bad enough. It shouldn’t take six to seven months to get a tax stamp for suppressors, put more people on doing the paperwork and charge a little more for the tax stamp, a background check should do for security reasons. How would you like to pay 1000.00 or more for something and have to wait six to eight months to get it?

James Ikanov
James Ikanov
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Vito

I’m not paying the government more money for “security” for something that should be legally guaranteed under the second amendment. That’s a cop out.

BRIAN RICKERT
BRIAN RICKERT
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Vito

IM ALREADY IN THE 9TH MONTH WAITING ON MINE. $1000.00TO THE MANUFACTURER AND PAPERWORK WAS SUBMITTED TO THE ATF IN MARCH OF 2016. STILL WAITING. I WAS TOLD WHEN I PLACED MY ORDER AND PAPERWORK THAT IT WOULD BE 6-7 MONTHS THEN I WAS TOLD PROBABLY IN DECEMBER. NOW THEY WONT EVEN GUESS. THIS IS TOTAL BS ON THE GOVERNMENTS PART. THERES NO REASON SUPPRESSORS SHOULD BE AN NFA ITEM. I CAN UNDERSTAND FULL AUTO MACHINE GUNS AND GRENADES AND THE LIKE. DEMS HAVE SEEN TOO MANY HITMAN MOVIES ON TV. JUST LIKE MOST THINGS RELATED TO FIREARMS, THEY HAVE… Read more »

DON WWII vet.
DON WWII vet.
3 years ago

I have mixed feelings about this. will Gang members adopt it and abuse it by using them for assassinations ?

DONT TREAD
DONT TREAD
3 years ago
Reply to  DON WWII vet.

You can make a “silencer” out of PVC pipe, electric tape, and steel wool. People have used oil filters successfully as suppressors. They don’t make firearms movie quiet unless you’re a British OSS operative in World War II. Typically speaking, it only lowers a firearm’s report by about thirty decibels- just enough to render them hearing safe without ear protection. As with most legislation, excessive taxation and regulation only renders things like this unavailable to law abiding citizens. Australian criminals make fully automatic submachine guns with hand drills and dremels; a pretty easy thing to do when you don’t care… Read more »

Kathy
Kathy
3 years ago
Reply to  DON WWII vet.

Even if they don’t have these, they are doing just fine shooting up neighborhoods loudly. Not having a suppressor will NOT stop gangs from killing people! Just as not owning a handgun will not prevent murder.