Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Introduces Hearing Protection Act

Hearing Protection Act
Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Leadership Introduces Hearing Protection Act
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

Washington, DC –-( Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC), Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), along with CSC Member Congressman John “Judge” Carter (TX) introduced H.R. 367, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA).

Joining the primary sponsors on this bill are 43 original cosponsors including CSC Co-Chair Congressman Gene Green (TX), CSC Vice-Chair Congressman Austin Scott (GA) and many other members of the bipartisan CSC.

“I've enjoyed the shooting sports since I was a young child – beginning with plinking with a .22 rifle and dove hunting with my dad. My hearing has been damaged because of gun noise. Had I had access to a suppressor, it may have protected me, as well as millions of other Americans, from this sort of hearing loss,” said Rep. Duncan.

“This is a health issue even recognized in Europe. It just doesn't make any sense to regulate suppressors the way we do presently. I think it certainly is questionable from a constitutional standpoint. It's striking that even Britain, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, has no restrictions on suppressors.

Also known as silencers, suppressors are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman.

Despite common Hollywood-based misconceptions, no suppressor will ever be able to render gunfire silent. Suppressors are simply mufflers for firearms, which function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to slowly cool in a controlled environment. On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection, suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting lands.

“For the past five years, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has worked alongside the state legislative sportsmen's caucuses in the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, the American Suppressor Association, and many other partners at the state level to normalize the use of suppressors throughout the nation,” said CSF President Jeff Crane.

“We've seen tremendous bipartisan support for firearm suppressors at the state level, and we look forward to working with the bipartisan CSC in the 115th Congress to prioritize the advancement of this common sense legislation.”

The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act is bipartisan legislation that will provide America's sportsmen and women with easier access to firearm suppressors by removing them from the scope of the National Firearms Act (NFA), replacing the outdated federal transfer process with an instantaneous NICS background check. In doing so, law-abiding citizens will remain able to purchase suppressors, while prohibited persons will continue to be barred from purchasing or possessing them.

The HPA also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchase a suppressor after October 22, 2015, which was the original date of introduction.

Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

Since 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen's organization in the political arena. CSF's mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen's Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the interests of America's hunters and anglers.

  • 8 thoughts on “Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Introduces Hearing Protection Act

    1. Common sense does not exist in Washington DC. Hearing protection should go hand in hand with anyone wanting to own
      a gun of any type. Our Congress should get off their partisan butts and start revamping laws and regulations that the people want. Trump took the reins of a people’s movement that will hopefully push those In Congress out. I believe with a Congress that respects what Americans truely want, laws and regulations that remake America’s economy free of the Socialists agenda of stripping America of our Bill of Rights as well as our Constitution.

      1. You may want to check the facts about hearing damage. I’ve been a shooter for more than 70 years. Nobody mentioned hearing damage until recently. Several years ago, my hearing ability declined dramatically. An Otolaryngologist said, “ I don’t know if it will be the next shot or the 2000th shot but, if you don’t protect what little hearing you have left, one of them you won’t hear. After that you can get a little dog to tug on your pant leg to let you know a phone is ringing.”
        I developed a burning interest about hearing protection. A safe noise level is usually stated to be 85 dB. The silencer you described is said to reduce dB level by a maximum of 35 dB. A 12 ga. shotgun, .45 auto, and 9 mm para dBs are around 165 dB. 165-35 leaves 130 dB, which way up in the list of damage. A silencer may help reduce muzzle blast but does very little for sonic boom that is created by a projectile traveling faster than the speed of sound.
        Problem is, advice about hearing protection is only proven to be good or bad years after it is too late to matter. Hearing damage is permanent and accumulative.
        There is tremendous misinformation concerning hearing protection. Problem is, shooters think they are protecting hearing, when, in fact, they may be doing more damage. There is electronic hearing protection that enhance ambient sounds, and reduce noise to safe levels. The missing information is ‘Attack Time.’ For example, a 30-06 dB is in the 165 dB range. By enhancing the ambient noise 50%, the muzzle blast is 247 dB at the nanosecond the gun is fired. Then, in a certain number of milliseconds, noise is reduced. The amount of time the ears hear 247 dB does tremendous, irreparable damage.
        A law requiring Attack Time, as determined by a credible test lab would be extremely helpful to shooters. Attack Time information would help, not only shooters but people who work in noisy environments. Silencers, in my opinion, are not the answer and may mislead a shooter when it comes to hearing damage.
        I wear a pair of hearing aids that cost more than a high dollar shotgun. I can read your lips if you look at me when you talk. With best regards, Leon Measur

    2. But here in CT, I think threaded barrels are still illegal, so even if they gave suppressors away, I’d never be able to get one. Frustrating…

      1. This is true only, (and I use the word only loosely) on center-fire auto-loading rifles, and all semi-auto pistols regardless of caliber if they have a threaded barrel. All other firearms such as .22 rim-fire and bolt action rifles are exempt. So are Pre-94 firearms. So there are some opportunities for the use of a suppressor. This is not to be taken as the correct interpretation of this oppressive law. Check with the Connecticut State Police.

    3. DO IT, NOW!

      No reason why you should have to go through all the BS to own a suppressor. They need to do away with the NFA completely while they are at it.

      1. “They need to do away with the NFA completely”

        True but considering what a rara avis anything even remotely resembling a constitutionalist is in Congress these days, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen. You are liable to turn very blue in the face before it does.

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