Hearing Protection Act Deserves Resounding Congressional Support

By Larry Keane

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NSSF is urging Congress to consider the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 95. IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Prospects for any sort of pro-gun bill moving in Congress are dim, but that doesn’t mean Congress shouldn’t try, especially when it’s a bill to make recreational shooting and hunting safer and make gun ranges better neighbors. That’s why NSSF is urging Congress to consider the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 95.

It’s an uphill struggle for the HPA as Hollywood and detractors propel a misunderstanding of suppressors. An examination of the facts is helpful as suppressors are already used and increase safety when using a firearm.

Senate Disinformation

U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) have already erected roadblocks on streamlining suppressor regulations. Both severely miss the mark when discussing the hardware though. Sen. Gillibrand, staunchly antigun, tweeted in opposition to the 2017 version of the HPA, saying gunfire with suppressors “is quiet,” making it hard for the witnesses of crimes to hear criminal activity. Sen. Menendez went further, introducing legislation in 2019 to ban the sale, import, manufacture, or transfer of suppressors.

Sen. Menedez said of his bill, “The sound of gunshots is what tells you that your life is danger and that it’s time to run, hide, take cover, call the police and help others save themselves.”

Both couldn’t be more mistaken.

Suppressor Facts

Detractors vilify “silencers” for fear of what they’ve seen in fiction movies. They believe they’re completely quiet, magically making gunfire a quiet “pffft.” These are Hollywood myths.

Suppressors are attached to the end of a firearm barrel and use a series of baffles to redirect the expanding gases from the barrel, reducing noise. Think of a car’s muffler. Hardly silent, suppressors reduce the noise from a firearm report down to about 130 decibels – around the same noise level as a motorcycle, chain saw, or jackhammer. That decrease in noise dramatically makes it safer while hunting and during recreational shooting, protecting the shooter’s hearing as well as any surrounding or nearby participants too.

Suppressors are already common – and growing. In fact, by current estimates, there are over 1.5 million already registered in the United States and they’re legal to own and use in 42 states, including 40 states that allow them for hunting.

It’s just the process to purchase the accessory is cumbersome and lengthy. Suppressors are still listed on the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) along with machine guns, requiring an extra $200 tax stamp and extensive registration paperwork, submission of photos and fingerprints, chief law enforcement officer notification and duplicative background checks. When things are moving smoothly, it’s about a nine-month process to finally take possession of a suppressor. Congressman Duncan’s Hearing Protection Act would delist suppressors from the NFA and allow them to be purchased and transferred the same way a firearm is purchased at retail. They would be regulated with the same markings (including serial number), record keeping and FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check that is required for a retail firearm purchase.

Congressional Prospects

Admittedly, prospects for any pro-gun legislation moving in this Congress or being signed by President-elect Joe Biden is dim at best. However, this is common-sense gun safety. This is a measure that will make for better neighbors for those living near gun ranges. European countries with very strict gun control laws actually require suppressors to be used for these very reasons. In some of those countries, they’re available for open purchase at hardware stores.

It’s time to hear the facts. Suppressors reduce noise, reduce recoil, and make recreational shooting and hunting safer.


About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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RoyD
RoyD
5 hours ago

“Detractors vilify “silencers” for fear of what they’ve seen in fiction movies. They believe they’re completely quiet, magically making gunfire a quiet “pffft.” These are Hollywood myths.” I don’t question your experience with suppressors but I have been present when a full auto .380 machine pistol with suppressor sounded like a sewing machine; no report at all. All thirty rounds each magazine. I also have seen .22lr semis that sounded no louder than a bird in flight. And lastly an AR15 that sounded like a soft clap of the hands. All of these standing about ten feet away with no hearing… Read more »

Knute
Knute
4 hours ago
Reply to  RoyD

“a full auto .380”
Must have been an Ingram M-11. The bullet striking the target is louder than the firearm.

RoyD
RoyD
4 hours ago
Reply to  Knute

Yes, it was.

Knute
Knute
6 minutes ago
Reply to  RoyD

Those are a damn sight quieter than today’s cans. The endwipes make them quieter, but also are a consumable item. They don’t last long in full auto.

Bozz 300 Black Out
Bozz 300 Black Out
1 day ago

We should flood the legislature with pro gun bills to counter the anti gun bills. It’s always 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

Bobocat
Bobocat
1 day ago

Yes, it should be tried during the first two years and before the midterms.

Knute
Knute
4 hours ago
Reply to  Bobocat

But that would require an honest politician. There hasn’t been one of those since Jim Traficant.

h1pstern1nja
h1pstern1nja
1 day ago

This is such posturing. We couldn’t pass this during the first part of 45’s tenure so what makes you think this is going to do anything more than languish in committee while at the same time trying to look like they’re doing something to the constituents.

Buzz
Buzz
2 days ago

We should try.

RicktheBear
RicktheBear
1 day ago
Reply to  Buzz

Totally pointless.

BigJim
BigJim
5 hours ago
Reply to  Buzz

Thomas Edison knew 10,000 ways how not- to get a lightbulb to work. Try and try again.

RoyD
RoyD
4 hours ago
Reply to  BigJim

The difference was he was working with elements that acted within a certain set of rules that stayed the same unless he made a change to them. Humans are not like that.

Knute
Knute
3 minutes ago
Reply to  BigJim

“If he [Thomas Edison] had a needle to find in a haystack, he would not stop to reason where it was most likely to be, but would proceed at once with the feverish diligence of a bee, to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. … Just a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety percent of his labor.”
― Nikola Tesla