What You Need to Know About the Hearing Protection Act

Note: This article was originally posted on NRA Blog: http://bit.ly/2ljKYbU


USA -(Ammoland.com)- If you’re into firearms, you should be familiar with the Hearing Protection Act, maybe you already are, but if you’re not – we’re here to help. This proposed legislation would make it easier for gun owners to acquire suppressors by removing burdensome regulatory hurdles and eliminating the $200 tax stamp requirement.

The Hearing Protection Act is a major step in the right direction for sportsmen and firearms owners, making safer shooting more accessible. But for now, we need to understand the HPA and how we can support it in order to make it a reality.

The National Firearms Act of 1934

We need to first understand the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). The NFA makes it mandatory to go through a three-step process in which the buyer completes a complicated application process and a $200 tax is imposed. Once the application is approved by ATF, the buyer may pick up their suppressor at their local dealer.

When Hiram Maxim patented his silencer there was a lack of knowledge of this new product, so it was lumped into the NFA with machine guns and other firearms used in organized crime.

Purchasing a suppressor has remained legal ever since 1934, but you had to pay dearly for it. When the NFA was passed, $200 could buy you a brand new Ford Model-T, so this exorbitant tax made it cost-prohibitive – exactly what the Federal government had intended.

Even though a $200 tax may be more manageable in 2017, it is an unnecessary expense, and the process of completing paperwork and waiting for the ATF to approve the transfer is tedious and time-consuming.

What Will the Hearing Protection Act Change?

In part, a general lack of knowledge of why suppressors are needed prompted the establishment of the National Firearm Act. The Hearing Protection Act would undo the restrictions on suppressors, treating them like other firearms.

The goal is to simply pull suppressors out of the same regulations as machine guns and grenades.

The HPA would remove the first two steps and make the Firearm Transaction Record, your typical Form 4473 background check, the only step needed to purchase a suppressor. Eliminating the long wait and the excessive tax.

Who Will the Hearing Protection Act Affect?

The HPA will impact the entire firearm industry. Passage of the bill opens up incredible new opportunities for firearm owners to easily acquire these devices for safer shooting, and gives manufacturers more incentive to produce and market suppressors.

Using a suppressor can help protect your hearing, the hearing of those around you and also reduce recoil.

Hearing loss is progressive — once you’ve lost your hearing, it’s gone. It is important that citizens understand how serious this safety issue is and how much it can affect your daily lives.

Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA explained, current suppressor restrictions “don’t make any sense,” and that gun owners and sportsmen should be able to practice their sport with the tools necessary to do so safely. The HPA will make it easier for them to do that.

How Can You Help?

This is more than a firearm legislation — this is common sense safety legislation. If you are interested in helping make the Hearing Protection Act become law, encourage your friends and family to reach out to their local representatives, and let your support for the HPA be known.

Don’t succumb to the negativity that surrounds the bill from opponents, who despite the benefits are determined to resist its passing solely based on their political agendas. Don’t spread misinformation amongst friends and colleagues, and politely correct others who may have the facts wrong. Most importantly, remain a positive example of a Second Amendment advocate, and combat negativity and petulance with grace, intelligence and maturity.

Ready to act? Contact your representatives via the NRA-ILA website!

  • 19 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About the Hearing Protection Act

    1. “The HPA would remove the first two steps and make the Firearm Transaction Record, your typical Form 4473 background check, the only step needed to purchase a suppressor. Eliminating the long wait and the excessive tax.”

      This is a good first step but it doesn’t go far enough. A suppressor is NOT a firearm, and is actually useless without one. It should not be regulated at all. I support the HPA, even though it will do nothing for the people of my state (Commiefornia).

    2. This proposed bill does not go far enough. A suppressor is not a firearm. Once removed from the NFA there should be no regulation.


        And yes I intended to shout it from the rooftops. Let’s repeal all this nonsense all the way back to 1934 and even before, the 1921 NYC Sullivan Act

    3. Back in the late 60’s my high school had a rifle club in the basement. We shot 22 standard velocity, that were very loud with bare concrete walls, floor and ceiling. You could really tell the difference if some one slipped in a high velocity round. These devices are suppressors not silencers.
      There are concerns by some that suppressors will be used in crimes. These concerns are unfounded, however, as suppressors, which have been legal to own by law-abiding citizens since their inception in 1902, are very rarely used in
      crimes. In a study looking at the criminal use of suppressors 1 in California and nation-wide between 1995 and 2005, the researcher found 153 federal criminal cases involving suppressors, only 15 of which involved the actual use of the
      suppressor in the commission of a crime. Less than 0.1% of homicides in federal court, an infinitesimally low 0.00006% of felonies in California and a mere 0.1% of armed robberies involve a suppressor.

      1. @RayJN, Now THAT is an outstanding, intelligent and a most excellent response. If the typical idiot that has been leaving replies on this issue cannot figure out how to do the math and find out how low the chances are that any kind of a criminal is he even going to bother getting a silencer to do his evil, then that individual definitely should not be involved with firearms in the first place.

    4. It’s obvious that Mike has never owned a suppressor much less ever shot a can and is hung up on the literal “pfffft” sound effects as applied after the fact to the sound track in the mooovies. Mostly all nice and neat stereotypical. He agrees BUT……
      And the uninformed like Mike state that “a silencer need not be on your gun when defending yourself you don’t need to do it in silence”. Oh, yes i definitely do. An ugly Glock 21 with Silencerco Osprey in 45 ACP at the bedside does fill all major defensive issues. So Mike can fire his 45 in his house and it won’t be pleasant for him or family. Check out the U-tube videos of the fireman in Florida firing in the house with cans. No mooovies there. Real deal. And still noisy…..
      Any pervert bent on committing mass mayhem is counting on a maximum fear factor to get to the top of the list in notoriety as noted recently irrespective of motivating facors such as muslim ideology. The MORE noise the better.
      Gunshots even suppressed are NOT silent and there are immutable laws of physics that can NOT be broken no matter how big a “progressive” you are. Bullets are noisy if supersonic and “crak” down range and subsonic slugs clang on impact still. And that’s down range after they exit the suppressor. And the cuttoff for hearing safe is at 140 db. And that is you don’t need to do it in “silence”. Duh, well if I shoot inside my house, the tactical advantage is lost from a critical loss of hearing faint perp clues to assure the big Win. Still pretty loud. Most cans are hearing safe but just BARELY unless it’s a 22LR. So enough with the silencer BS THAT implies the abscence of sound. Like “silence” is completely different from “suppress” ala legal definition be damned becuz it’s a sinister “silencer”.
      So Mike, there is STILL no such thing as a “silent gunshot” and a “silencer” certainly does not silence any firearm.

    5. Sorry guys……. I’m all for gun rights I have a few. But giving these idiots that shoot up our malls etc.a QUIET way to do it makes no sense to me. Take this situation into account, you’re in a mall you’re packing your favorite 45 concealed.
      Your downstairs getting a cuppa coffee at your favorite kiosk. On the second floor of the mall someone is shooting up everything as they walk down the hall. If they have a silencer on their gun, you’re still in line ordering coffee because you can’t hear it. If you heard it you have a chance to help. You’re a law-abiding citizen so a Silencer need not be on your gun as when protecting yourself you don’t need to do it in silence. In fact the loud shooting noises would warn the innocent bystanders to hide. In the case of a silencer, I think the bad outweighs the good. Just my opinion guys. Fight for your rights right or wrong I’m behind you, I just don’t agree with this particular one

      1. It is a suppressor not a silencer it only lowers the sound level by about 40db not completley erase the sound

      2. Ah, another “victim” of the false portrayal by Hollywood dimwits with their sound effects. Do you really thin the actor is firing real rounds? Wake up! The sound of a suppressed round would still echo in an enclosed mall!

      3. You own firearms and you think that a suppressor will make it silent. A gunshot ranges from 140 to 190 decibels. a high end suppressor reduces it 110-120 decibels. A rock concert is 110 decibels. Your lack of knowledge on the subject is troubling. I hope you do research before you spout of thoughts of yours or i hope you carry a 45 nerf gun.

      4. @ Mike.
        Hey I understand what your saying but if u go somewhere and shoot something suppressed you’ll totally get the whole situation and why it’s ridiculous to be an nfa item, also here’s what people can’t grasp and I don’t mean anti-gun people even pro-gunners. Criminals who are going to shoot up a place like a mall DO NOT in anyway care what our gun laws are. If they want to go in with a suppressor there not going to do the paperwork to get it.

      5. You realize that is doesn’t completely silence the weapon. It just takes it below 140 DB. It is still very loud. Do some research before you make a ridiculous comment. You are what is wrong with the world!

      6. I can’t tell if that’s a troll or a real comment. Either way, Clifford is right. You would DEFINATELY hear a suppressed firearm indoors. It’s still about as loud as an ambulance siren.

      7. Most suppressors are not MOVIE quiet as most people think. Can you make them MOVIE quiet? Sure but it is not conducive to Active Shooters looking for taking large numbers casualties quickly. You are going to hear the shots but they will not be as loud. I was hunting with a suppressed .308 for deer and I harvested a nice 8 point. I had a fellow hunter that was near by tell me that he heard the shot and it sounded like a .22,

    6. If I pay the $400.00 to over $1000.00 for a suppressor then go to shoot at my local range but someone else comes to shoot too but they don’t have a suppressor, then I need to protect my hearing from his gunfire? That could happen every time I go to the range so its a costly investment for hunting only??

    7. Well, here in Texas, I’m blessed that Senators Cornyn and Cuz are on board where Senate support is crucial and critical for its eventual passage. After several persistent and insistant phone calls, since its initial introduction, my rep Culberson just last month saw the light and is now a sponsor,too. Especially when I told his legislative assistant over and over that I have $1430.00 tied up in a QD AAC 338 big Bertha lapua Titanium can since June of LAST YEAR and STILL waiting on the stamp. Plus a half a dozen other cans already in hand for mostly all around satisfaction enjoying quiet firearms. What is the rationale waiting now near a year – that long when you need to buy a house or a car for find a doctor TODAY for treatment?
      Besides, I have to defensively protect my hearing to do my job as a casdiovascular nurse listening for faint breath and heart sounds. Hearing loss is permanent and irretrievable. Tintinitis is a miserable condition. Been there, done that. But not any more.
      The archaic precomputer system that got its beginnings in this “new deal” legislation has demonstrated its glaring inefficiencies as intolerable. And cans were added on a whim at the last moment to prevent poaching in 1934 which the NFA is unconstitutional as demonstrated by this prohibitive tax. Taxation without justification. To make ALL NFA items illegal without this tax paid. And the bastard hughes amendment demonstates the SAME. In Spades.
      Only the progressive idiots with an alternate hollyweird reality in the moooovies and dimocRATS would oppose its passage anyway. So,don’t give them a freebie pass.
      Well, a chance to eliminate all these insidious incremental losses over the years of our 2nd Amendment freedoms shall not pass this way again in this lifetime. It’s NOW or NEVER!
      Phone calls to Washington,DC and a local office do count. If you DON’T call, congress has no clue you are even out there. So pick up the phone. Today. And CALL. And often!

    8. One of my senators, Kaine (D), response to co-sponsoring the bill was typical anti-firearm stance he’s shown in the past. His response was “Opponents don’t want criminals to obtain silencers to endanger police officers”. He is ignoring that it is already illegal for criminals to have a firearms to begin with–let alone–a suppressor. Virginia’s other senator, Warner (D), didn’t even bother to respond. Write, call, email your senator and congressman in support of the “Hearing Protection Act”. In Europe it’s consider bad form to not use a suppressor at a range.

      1. More idiocy. He doesnt get it that suppressors are already used by criminals along with their illegal firearms. With all of the plans for suppressors on the internet anyone who wants one can have one – of course its illegal again. The belief is if suppressors are not available period, then criminals cant get them. Suppressors are just bent metal and available to anyone who wants to make one.

      2. Then at this point it appears that it is the responsibility and duty of the citizens of your state to utilize your state constitution for the removal of corrupt officials from office for violating their oath of office.

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