Disinformation Campaign on the Hearing Protection Act Continues

NRA - Institute for Legislative Action
NRA – Institute for Legislative Action

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- This month the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) as S.59. Representatives Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and John Carter (R-TX) – together with 42 co-sponsors – introduced a similar bill in the House as H.R. 367.

The bill would remove suppressors from the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA), which requires buyers to pay a $200 tax and undergo an enhanced background check that can take up to nine months to complete. Suppressors would continue to be regulated like non-NFA firearms, which require a background check when sold by a licensed firearms dealer or across state lines.

Not surprisingly, anti-gun advocates and their media allies are furious that the gun community would dare remove an onerous and unnecessary law that limits their ability to protect against hearing loss while target shooting and hunting.

Washington Post reporter Michael S. Rosenwald announced that “violence prevention advocates are outraged that the industry is trying to ease silencer restrictions by linking the issue to the eardrums of gun owners.” Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times piled on, declaring that the naming of the “Hearing Protection Act” was “so absurdly transparent an effort to deceive that voters may be prompted to ask an obvious question: ‘What are they hiding?’”

Donald Trump, JR shoots the SilencerCo Maxim 9 integrally suppressed pistol
Donald Trump, JR shoots the SilencerCo Maxim 9 integrally suppressed pistol

Joining the anti-gun tirade, Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center contended that “they want the general public to think it’s about hearing aids or something,” arguing that “when the general public finds out what’s really happening, there will be outrage.” Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence went so far as to argue “there’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire.”

Let that sink in. A representative of the Brady Campaign argues that there is no evidence of hearing loss from gunfire. One is left to wonder if their zealotry blinds them to the truth or if they really are that ill-informed on firearms and their use.

Other anti-gun advocates argue that “silent” guns make it easier to commit crimes, citing YouTube videos and television shows where silencers reduce a gunshot to a faint cough. Professor Robert J. Spitzer, writing in the Washington Post, even argued that deafening noise “is an important safety feature of any firearm” and that “the lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate”

Sig Sauer Silencers
Sig Sauer Silencers

Supporters of so-called “common sense gun safety” are willfully blind to the reality that clear, objective scientific evidence demonstrates that suppressors prevent hearing loss. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and tinnitus are high-priority health issues – and the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable.

The benefits of suppressors are scientifically proven. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have both determined that even a single noise over 140 decibels causes hearing loss. The peak sound pressure of a gunshot ranges from a low of 144 decibels (.22 caliber rifle) to 172 decibels (.357 caliber revolver). A suppressor reduces the sound by approximately 30 decibels. In consequence, even suppressed firearms are loud – about 120-130 decibels – and louder than a car horn three feet away. It is, therefore, both inconsistent and illogical for the government to recommend – and even legally mandate – noise abatement for loud machines like lawn mowers and chainsaws while simultaneously setting large regulatory hurdles that discourage suppressor use with firearms.

Rugged Suppressors 7.62 Surge
Rugged Suppressors 7.62 Surge

Furthermore, suppressed firearms are not the choice of criminals, and the more than 100-year history of suppressors in both the United States and Europe demonstrates that anti-gun fearmongering is unfounded. A study of the criminal use of suppressors between 1995 and 2005 found only 15 used in crimes – and only two instances of being used in a murder. Indeed, as the number of federally-registered suppressors has nearly quadrupled in the last decade (from 150,364 in 2006 to 902,805 in 2016), the Violence Policy Center can identify only a scant handful of crimes committed with them. As Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman notes, “any useful technology can be put to villainous ends,” and common sense demonstrates that the existing rule on silencers is “a major hassle for the law-abiding” while being “an irrelevance to criminals.”

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center are counting on public ignorance and disinformation to derail a legitimate effort to allow gun owners to protect their hearing and the hearing of those around them. Armed with facts and scientific evidence, the National Rifle Association urges its members to contact their lawmakers to support the Hearing Protection Act of 2017.

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.

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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Dear Mike, Your comment about how 104,000 people are shot every year in the United States is almost meaningless. Out of that 104,000 people how many of those were innocent people shot by police? How many were legitimate criminals shot by police? It is a well-known and long-standing statistic that illnesses from nicotine and tobacco use kill 1,200 people a day. That means for each person who dies from a gunshot wound, regardless of whether it was inflicted by a criminal in the commission of a crime, or a police officer shooting an innocent victim, or a police officer shooting… Read more »


Mike, I don’t know where you get your erroneous and inflated numbers. According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2015, there were 13,487 firearm related deaths(out of 53,536 total incidents/shootings) in the United States versus approximately 90,000 alcohol related DEATHS9 no way to count the incidents here) in the US as reported by the CDC. Why don’t you use the real numbers and start promoting a $200 tax on every bottle, can, box, jug, or keg of alcoholic beverage? wouldn’t that be going after the lowest hanging fruit? It boggles the mind to see imbeciles and idiots make up solutions… Read more »


Saying suppressors would increase crime and killing is about the dumbest thing I’ve heard for anti 2nd amendment crowd. Next they will be saying that rifle scopes should be an NFA item for the same reason.


The misinformation campaign continues here as well. The study of criminal use of silencers for example shows only two murders because why? They couldn’t get the damn things. They’re registered on a form2 when made, transferred to a dealer on a form3, transferred to the individual on a form4. Then back to a dealer or another individual on a form4 (form3 is dealer to dealer only) the registration is updated every step of the way before the new owner takes possession. It’s a felony to illegally transfer or to be in possession without the paperwork (registration/transfer of registration)


There are a lot of criminals who will use pistol silencers to shoot people quietly and get away with it. If a silencer is a “title1 gun” it isn’t registered. it’ll end up getting used in crimes across the US where 104,000 people are shot each year. In Europe you can’t just buy a silencer you need a weapons permit. They have a lot more restrictive gun control laws, all their firearms are registered like the NFA here. Here in the US we have a serious gun crime problem, all title1 guns aren’t registered. The gun was made somewhere legally.… Read more »


Common sense, the least common of the senses. Sounds suppressors are in excellent idea, I would say almost an essential requirement for safe firearms operation in terms of protecting one’s hearing, while still being able to converse with those in your presence. Actually being able to speak to and be heard by, and hear the words spoken by those you are with can only promote firearms safety by eliminating the confusion of compromised hearing due to; earplugs, and any other type of hearing protector, not to mention the fact that the sound of gunfire temporarily if not permanently compromises your… Read more »

James R. Wilson

The problem with this legislation is that it includes a section that says the people who already have suppressor’ are due or will get their $200 dollars back. The cost of that return will be enough to kill the bill. This needs to be removed if this is to go through.


I don’t and won’t ever care about the $200 i will gladly pay that to prevent people from getting killed by these weapons.

Ron H

The only way a suppressor could “kill”, if a person was hit repeatedly, and repeatedly, on the head many, many times. A suppressor is comprised of lightweight alloy tube with baffles inside. There is no firing mechanism in a suppressor. More damage would be done by a baseball bat. It is nothing more than a muffler for a firearm. Drive your vehicle without a muffler. See how fast you would be stopped for operating without it installed.

Joseph Gavron MD

I am a recently retired ear doctor who would gladly testify in regards to gunshot noise-induced hearing loss. I myself suffer from this hearing loss compliments of 4 years on a military rifle team. Many of my shooting patients suffer as I do. In addition we all have intractable tinnitus which additionally complicates our lives

Wild Bill

Welcome aboard Dr. Gavron!

Jim S

All these legislators do is watch hollywood movies about firearm suppressors. Idiocy at its finest.


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.

Sorry, but the HERE link is broken. Please fix.

MikeB in Wi

“Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times piled on, declaring that the naming of the “Hearing Protection Act” was “so absurdly transparent an effort to deceive that voters may be prompted to ask an obvious question: ‘What are they hiding?’””

I think he was talking about the “Affordable Care Act,” which doesn’t improve care and is definitely not affordable for many.