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MICHIGAN: SUPPRESSOR HUNTING NOW LEGAL

Salvo Hunting

On February 11th, Michigan became the 38th state to allow for the use of firearm suppressors while hunting when the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) voted 4 – 1 to approve an amended version of Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment No. 1 of 2016. The measure became effective immediately.

The initial proposal included two arbitrary restrictions which would have limited the decibel reduction of suppressors allowed in the field to 30 dB, and would have also prohibited the use of subsonic ammunition by anyone using a suppressor while hunting. Prior to the final vote, Commissioner Louise Klarr offered an amendment to remove these two provisions from the proposed rule. Her measure passed also 4 – 1.

“We are incredibly excited that hunters in the great state of Michigan can now use suppressors to help protect their hearing while they’re in the field,” said Knox Williams, President of the American Suppressor Association. “It was a pleasure working to educate the NRC Commissioners and members of the DNR on the realities of suppressor use. We applaud their decision to remove the prohibition on suppressor hunting without the two restrictive provisions. In doing so, they have done their part to ensure that the next generation of hunters does not have to sacrifice their hearing.”

The American Suppressor Association was one part of the team working to legalize suppressor hunting in Michigan. The ASA would like to thank the National Rifle Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), and Safari Club International (SCI) for working together on this initiative to make Michigan a safer place to hunt.

The American Suppressor Association is also grateful for the support of our members, as well as everyone who took the time to support this initiative. We are very excited about bringing suppressor hunting to The Great Lakes State. We will continue to work towards our goal of legalizing suppressor ownership and hunting in all 50 states through our No State Left Behind campaign. Special thanks to Michigan for taking us one step closer!

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Since 2011, 16 states have legalized suppressor hunting for all game animals. Despite common misconceptions, suppressors are not silent. They are simply mufflers for firearms. There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. HEARING PROTECTIONNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTINGMost hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTSAs urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACYSuppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

685px-Flag_of_Michigan.svg

Posted in American Suppressor Association, Hunting, Hunting, NRA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mass: ASA Testifies in Support of Suppressor Legalization Bill

On Thursday, January 28th, the ASA was on the ground at the Massachusetts State House along with Chris and Kevin Graham, owners of Yankee Hill Machine, to testify in support of S. 1271 before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.  S. 1271, sponsored by Sen. Donald Humason, Jr. (R-Westfield), would make Massachusetts the 42nd state to legalize private suppressor ownership.  This short bill would replace the current law that prohibits the possession of suppressors by non-manufacturers with language that allows private individuals to own and possess suppressors so long as they are not (1) prohibited persons; (2) committing a violent felony; (3) committing a crime of violence against a family member; or (4) possessing or selling controlled substances.

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The American Suppressor Association is very appreciative of the efforts made by the Gun Owners Action League and Sen. Humason, who drafted and introduced S. 1271, as well as Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) for agreeing to cosponsor it.  We are working hard to get this bill moving through the State House and bring suppressor ownership rights to over 6 million citizens of Massachusetts.  There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

HEARING PROTECTION: Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.

SAFER HUNTING: Most hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.

NOISE COMPLAINTS: As urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.

ACCURACY: Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

As always, the American Suppressor Association will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that your suppressor rights are protected and expanded. We will keep you updated as this pro-suppressor legislation advances.

In the meantime, please reach out to members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and respectfully urge them to support this important piece of legislation.  Contact information can be found here.

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Posted in American Suppressor Association, Legislation, Ownership, Silencers are Legal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Iowa: Suppressor Legalization Bill Passes House Subcommittee, Needs Your Help

Yesterday, HF 2043, a bill introduced by Rep. Matt Windschitl that would make Iowa the 42nd state to legalize suppressors, passed out of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on a 2-1 vote.  The ASA was on hand to testify in support of the bill, along with the Iowa Firearms Coalition. As you may remember, a similar bill passed the Iowa House last year as well, before running into roadblocks in the Senate.  The ASA spent the afternoon at the Capitol in Des Moines meeting with legislators in Iowa in an effort to ensure that HF 2043 passes both chambers this session and makes it to Gov. Branstad’s desk.  This bill is expected to head to the full House Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks, before heading to the House floor for a vote.

Iowa Rep. Matt Windschitl and ASA General Counsel Michael Williams at the Iowa Capitol.

Iowa Rep. Matt Windschitl and ASA General Counsel Michael Williams at the Iowa Capitol.

The American Suppressor Association is working hard to ensure that this bill becomes law, and we are very excited about the prospect of bringing suppressor ownership to the 3 million Iowans who are currently prohibited from owning suppressors. There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. HEARING PROTECTION: Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTING: Most hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTS: As urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACY: Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

As always, the American Suppressor Association will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that your suppressor rights are protected and expanded. We will keep you updated as this pro-suppressor legislation advances.

In the mean time, please reach out to your Iowa legislators, particularly your Senators, and respectfully urge them to support this important piece of legislation.  Contact information can be found here.

Iowa State Flag

 

Posted in American Suppressor Association, Hunting, Legislation, Ownership, Shall Certify, Shall Sign, Silencers are Legal | Leave a comment

ASA Testifies at Michigan Natural Resources Commission Meeting

On January 14th, the American Suppressor Association’s General Counsel, along with representatives from the National Rifle Association and several Michigan sportsmen’s groups, testified at the Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting in Traverse City, Michigan, where the Commission was considering Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment No. 1 of 2016, a resolution to eliminate the prohibition on the use of legally possessed suppressors while hunting. The testimony centered around opposition to two arbitrary and unenforceable restrictions included in the proposed rule, as currently drafted. These restrictions would:

  1. Only allow “the use of suppressors capable of a decibel reduction of no more than 30 decibels as provided by the manufacturers specifications.”
  2. Prohibit “the use of subsonic ammunition (velocity less than 1,126 feet per second) in combination with suppressors.”

The testimony raised several questions regarding the viability of the order in its current form, and the Commissioners seemed willing to take a harder look at the evidence and potentially remove these restrictions in the future.  While the ASA supports the legalization of suppressor hunting in Michigan, we unequivocally oppose the proposed restrictions placed on decibel reduction, and the prohibition of the use of subsonic ammunition for hunting. These proposed restrictions, which have not been enacted in any of the 37 states where suppressor hunting is currently legal, would do nothing to enhance public safety. Instead, they would confuse hunters and enforcement agents alike, who would oftentimes have little to no way of knowing whether or not the suppressor in question provided too much hearing protection, or if the ammunition being used was not quite fast enough.

Many suppressor manufacturers, including SilencerCo, do not list decibel reduction levels as a standalone number in their specifications. Instead, they publish average overall dB levels for their suppressors by caliber type. For instance, according to the SilencerCo website, the Harvester 30 will decrease the sound level of a .308 Win rifle to an average of 136.4 dB. When this is the case, how would enforcement agents determine if the suppressor is capable of reducing the signature by more than 30 dB?

In addition, the actual signature reduction of a suppressor is determined by a host of factors, including, but not limited to the operating system of the firearm, barrel length, muzzle devices being used when unsuppressed, caliber, and ammunition. With so many variables, it would be impossible for enforcement agents to know if the suppressor reduced the signature of the gun it is attached to without testing the firearm/suppressor/ammunition combination on the spot.

In order to avoid scenarios where law enforcement agents would have to interrupt hunts to test suppressors, and/or ammunition in the field, we need your help to politely urge the NRC to drop these unnecessary and unenforceable provisions from the proposed rule. They can be reached at: NRC@michigan.govor by phone at (517) 284-6237.

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Suppressors, which are already legal to possess in Michigan, are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Michigan is one of only four states in which their possession is legal, but their use in the field is not. Since 2011, 15 states have legalized suppressor hunting for all game animals. Despite common misconceptions, suppressors are not silent. They are simply mufflers for firearms. There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. HEARING PROTECTIONNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTINGMost hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTSAs urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACYSuppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

685px-Flag_of_Michigan.svg

Posted in American Suppressor Association, Hunting, Hunting, Law Enforcement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ATF 41F PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 15, 2016, the final rule for what is now known as ATF 41F was published in the Federal Register. Following a cursory reading of the document, it appears that there was no major deviation from the substance of Attorney General Lynch’s General Order, published on January 4th. Previously known as ATF 41P, the final rule has multiple provisions, most notably the elimination of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification requirement for all NFA applications. The new rule will take effect in 180 days, on July 13th, and will not apply to pending or previously approved applications.

The American Suppressor Association’s in depth analysis of the new rule can be found here:

CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER CERTIFICATION TO BE REMOVED FROM NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT TRANSFERS

While the final rule is not perfect, the elimination of the CLEO certification requirement is a major victory for the NFA community, especially when considering that the administration’s initial proposal sought to extend the CLEO requirement to all NFA Trusts and legal entities.

Nevertheless, the ASA still believes that suppressors should be removed entirely from the NFA. To accomplish this goal, we are working closely with Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) to pass the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799, S. 2236). The HPA will remove suppressors from the onerous requirements of the NFA, and instead require purchasers to pass an instant NICS check, the same background check that is used during the sale of long guns. In doing so, law-abiding citizens will remain free to purchase suppressors, while prohibited persons will continue to be barred from purchasing or possessing these accessories. To contact your legislators in support of the HPA, please visit www.HearingProtectionAct.com.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN SUPPRESSOR ASSOCIATION 

The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is the unified voice of the suppressor industry. Our mission is to unite and advocate for the common interests of suppressor manufacturers, distribu­tors, dealers, and consumers. To accomplish our mission, our principal initiatives focus on state lobbying, federal lobbying, public education, and industry research.

For more information on how you can join the ASA, and help protect and expand your right to own and use suppressors, please visit www.AmericanSuppressorAssociation.com.

Posted in 41F, 41P, Legislation, Shall Certify, Shall Sign | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MICHIGAN: SUPPRESSOR HUNTING REFORM NEEDS YOUR HELP

Last month, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) heard testimony on the merits of suppressor hunting at a public hearing in Lansing, MI. During the meeting, a member of the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division delivered a presentation to the NRC expressing that their department does not object to allowing hunters to use suppressors. At that meeting, representatives from the American Suppressor Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and Gemtech all provided testimony in support of making Michigan the 38th state to legalize suppressor hunting.

On January 14th, the NRC will consider Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment No. 1 of 2016, a resolution to eliminate the prohibition on the use of legally possessed suppressors while hunting. If approved, the measure will be up for a final vote at the February 11th NRC meeting. However, earlier today, the ASA learned of two arbitrary and unenforceable restrictions included in the proposed rule. These restrictions would:

  1. Only allow “the use of suppressors capable of a decibel reduction of no more than 30 decibels as provided by the manufacturers specifications.”
  2. Prohibit “the use of subsonic ammunition (velocity less than 1,126 feet per second) in combination with suppressors.”

While the ASA supports the legalization of suppressor hunting in Michigan, we unequivocally oppose the proposed restrictions placed on decibel reduction, and the prohibition of the use of subsonic ammunition for hunting. These proposed restrictions, which have not been enacted in any of the 37 states where suppressor hunting is currently legal, would do nothing to enhance public safety. Instead, they would confuse hunters and enforcement agents alike, who would oftentimes have little to no way of knowing whether or not the suppressor in question provided too much hearing protection, or if the ammunition being used was not quite fast enough.

Many suppressor manufacturers, including SilencerCo, do not list decibel reduction levels as a standalone number in their specifications. Instead, they publish average overall dB levels for their suppressors by caliber type. For instance, according to the SilencerCo website, the Harvester 30 will decrease the sound level of a .308 Win rifle to an average of 136.4 dB. When this is the case, how would enforcement agents determine if the suppressor is capable of reducing the signature by more than 30 dB?

In addition, the actual signature reduction of a suppressor is determined by a host of factors, including, but not limited to the operating system of the firearm, barrel length, muzzle devices being used when unsuppressed, caliber, and ammunition. With so many variables, it would be impossible for enforcement agents to know if the suppressor reduced the signature of the gun it is attached to without testing the firearm/suppressor/ammunition combination on the spot. 

In order to avoid scenarios where law enforcement agents would have to interrupt hunts to test suppressors, and/or ammunition in the field, we need your help to politely urge the NRC to drop these unnecessary and unenforceable provisions from the proposed rule. They can be reached at: NRC@michigan.gov, or by phone at (517) 284-6237.

asa_edu_map_101415

Suppressors, which are already legal to possess in Michigan, are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Michigan is one of only four states in which their possession is legal, but their use in the field is not. Since 2011, 15 states have legalized suppressor hunting for all game animals. Despite common misconceptions, suppressors are not silent. They are simply mufflers for firearms. There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. HEARING PROTECTIONNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTINGMost hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTSAs urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACYSuppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

685px-Flag_of_Michigan.svg

Posted in American Suppressor Association, Educational, Hunting, Hunting, Legislation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW HAMPSHIRE: SUPPRESSOR HUNTING LEGISLATION PASSES HOUSE BY OVERWHELMING MAJORITY

Earlier today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 184 to 124 in favor of passing House Bill 500, a bill that seeks to legalize hunting with suppressors in New Hampshire. Sponsored by Rep. John Burt (R-Hillsborough 39), this legislation is backed by the American Suppressor Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and the National Rifle Association. With the Ought to Pass (OTP) designation, HB 500 will now move to the Senate, where it awaits committee assignment.

Suppressors, which are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman, are legal to own in 41 states. New Hampshire is one of only four states, also including Connecticut, Michigan, and Vermont, in which their possession is legal, but their use in the field is not. Since 2011, 15 states have legalized suppressor hunting for all game animals. As part of the No State Left Behind campaign, the ASA is working to ensure that all four of these states legalize suppressor hunting in 2016. 

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Despite common misconceptions, suppressors are not silent. They are simply mufflers for firearms. There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. HEARING PROTECTIONNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTINGMost hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTSAs urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACYSuppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

The ASA will continue to actively work towards the passage of HB 500 in New Hampshire. We will keep you up to date with the bill’s progress. 

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Posted in American Suppressor Association, Hunting, Hunting, Legislation, NFA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER CERTIFICATION TO BE REMOVED FROM NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT TRANSFERS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, January 4th, the Obama administration issued the final rule for Docket No. ATF 41P, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published on September 9th, 2013. The final rule has multiple provisions, most notably the elimination of the CLEO certification requirement for all NFA applications. The NPRM initially sought to amend the making and transfer process for National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms by extending the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification requirement for all NFA transfers to private persons, including those conducted by a trust or legal entity. Had this measure been enacted as drafted, it would have resulted in widespread de facto bans of NFA items in jurisdictions where CLEOs refuse to sign applications. To prevent this scenario, the American Suppressor Association (ASA) rallied the suppressor community by leading the charge to submit comments in opposition to the proposed rule. In all, over 9,500 comments were submitted to the Federal Register, virtually all of which opposed the proposal to expand CLEO certifications.

“Since the announcement of ATF 41P, the American Suppressor Association has spearheaded efforts alongside partner organizations on the State and Federal levels to block the expansion of CLEO certification requirements,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA. “For the first time in 82 years, local law enforcement will no longer have de facto veto power over any NFA applications. While their inclusion in the process made sense in 1934, before background checks, or even computers existed, the removal of this antiquated measure from the NFA process is a major victory for the suppressor and NFA communities.”

In addition to removing the CLEO certification requirement, the rule creates a mandatory CLEO notification process, and establishes a definition for the term “responsible person” in relation to NFA trusts and legal entities. It also requires that the trust or legal entity provide complete proof of existence, and that all responsible persons associated with the trust or entity submit photos and fingerprint cards with each NFA application, unless the applicant entity has had an application approved within the past two years, and has had no change in structure or personnel. The final rule will not apply to pending or previously approved applications, and is set to take effect 180 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This will occur on or near July 13th, 2016.

Although the elimination of the CLEO certification requirement is a victory for the suppressor community, the ASA still believes that suppressors should be removed entirely from the NFA. To accomplish this goal, we are working closely with Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) to pass the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799, S. 2236). The HPA will remove suppressors from the onerous requirements of the NFA, and instead require purchasers to pass an instant NICS check, the same background check that is used during the sale of long guns. In doing so, law-abiding citizens will remain free to purchase suppressors, while prohibited persons will continue to be barred from purchasing or possessing these accessories. To contact your legislators in support of the HPA, please visit our Hearing Protection Act legislative contact form.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN SUPPRESSOR ASSOCIATION 

The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is the unified voice of the suppressor industry. Our mission is to unite and advocate for the common interests of suppressor manufacturers, distribu­tors, dealers, and consumers. To accomplish our mission, our principal initiatives focus on state lobbying, federal lobbying, public education, and industry research.

For more information on how you can join the ASA, and help protect and expand your right to own and use suppressors, please visit our store.

Posted in 41P, American Suppressor Association, Law Enforcement, Legislation, Shall Certify, Shall Sign | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2015: A YEAR IN REVIEW

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2015 was a banner year for both the American Suppressor Association (ASA), and the suppressor community as a whole. In terms of pro-suppressor advocacy, 2015 was anything but quiet. Nine states enacted pro-suppressor laws or regulations, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress to remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act, and for the first time in history, pro-suppressor language was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. As we celebrate our victories, let us also review our setbacks so that we may learn how to overcome them. 2015 was a great year, but we at the American Suppressor Association cannot wait to see what 2016 will bring. Here is our year in review:

State Reform

At the state level, the American Suppressor Association focuses its legislative efforts on three primary initiatives:  (1) legalizing private suppressor ownership in all 50 states; (2) expanding the ability of hunters to use suppressors while hunting in all 50 states; and (3) enacting “Shall-Sign” or “Shall-Certify” provisions, that ensure all people legally entitled to purchase and own suppressors are able to do so.

Beginning in 2016, we will launch the No State Left Behind campaign. Our goal is simple: legalize suppressor ownership and use in all 50 states. To meet this objective, we are working to introduce and pass pro-suppressor reform in every state where private ownership and suppressor hunting are prohibited, as well as enact Shall-Sign provisions across the country.

No State Left Behind

Ownership

In 2015, the American Suppressor Association actively worked on ownership initiatives in Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont. Of the five states, Minnesota and Vermont both legalized suppressor ownership, bringing the total number of states where private suppressor ownership is legal up to 41. Translated, that equates to 82% of the country.

Although Illinois, Iowa, and Massachusetts top our priority list for 2016, we will be working to legalize ownership in every state. Yes, that does include California, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. We mean it when we say No State Left Behind!

Hunting

The American Suppressor Association also actively worked on suppressor hunting initiatives in Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, and Vermont in 2015. Ultimately, we were successful in three states. 37 states now allow hunters to use suppressors in the field, including Maine, Minnesota, and Montana.

Looking ahead towards 2016, the ASA is already setting the foundation for a successful year. In Michigan, we are currently working with the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to legalize suppressor hunting in early 2016. A resolution is set to be presented for first consideration at their next meeting on January 14th. If approved, the measure will then move for a final vote at their February 11th meeting.

In New Hampshire, three years of educational efforts paid off when the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee passed suppressor hunting legislation, for the first time in three sessions.  Now that HB 500, which is sponsored by Rep. John Burt (R-Hillsborough 39), has passed out of committee, it will head to the full legislature when the next legislative session begins in January, 2016.

Although Vermont’s suppressor ownership bill, H. 5, went into effect just this past July, we are already working with bill sponsor Rep. Patrick Brennan (R-Chittenden) to introduce new legislation to remove the sunset provision, as well as legalize the use of suppressors while hunting in the field.

Connecticut is the final state in which suppressor ownership is legal, but suppressor hunting is not. We are actively working to identify the best bill sponsor to introduce suppressor hunting legislation in the Constitution State.

Shall-Sign/Certify

In 2015, seven states enacted Shall-Sign reform, raising the total number of states with a clear path for applicants to obtain a Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signoff to 14. Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia all did so legislatively. Although Tennessee has had a Shall-Sign law on the books since 2003, its text was updated to reflect current model language. In addition, Louisiana became the first state to enact an administrative process through which the Louisiana State Police will provide Form 4 signoffs for suppressor, SBR, and SBS applications for applicants with a valid Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP).

In Texas, Shall-Sign reform passed the Senate, but was unable to receive consideration on the House floor. The opposite was true in South Dakota, as House Bill 1205 passed the House, but was unable to pass the Senate. Virginia passed similar legislation, but Governor McAuliffe was able to successfully veto the measure.

With 36 states that still need Shall-Sign reform, we will work tirelessly to ensure that as many states as possible enact this law in 2016. Despite being out of session until 2017, Texas remains our top priority on this front. We will continue to work alongside groups like the NRA and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation to enact this, and all other state level reform across the country.

 

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Federal Reform

On the Federal level, the American Suppressor Association is focused on four primary issues:

  1. Removing suppressors from the NFA
  2. Preventing the implementation of ATF 41P as it is currently drafted
  3. Removing the CLEO signoff requirement for all NFA transfers
  4. Legalizing the exportation of suppressors to foreign commercial markets

In 2015, the ASA worked with Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) to introduce the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799, S. 2236). This historic piece of legislation will remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA), and instead require purchasers to pass an instant NICS check, the same background check that is used during the sale of long guns. The bill also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchase their suppressor after October 22, 2015.

The HPA currently has 41 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, and has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Crapo of Idaho. Nearly 40,000 letters have been sent to members of Congress in support of the HPA. Although there is still much work to be done, we are confident that if we all remain focused, suppressors will ultimately be removed from the NFA.

Our second federal focus is on blocking the Obama Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. ATF 41P. This is the executive action which seeks to extend the CLEO signoff requirement to every member of every NFA trust and legal entity. The ASA worked with Rep. Carter (TX-31) to have a rider blocking the implementation of 41P attached to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2578), which was one of six appropriations bills to pass the House in 2015. Unfortunately, the language was stripped during negotiations between the House and the Senate for the omnibus appropriations bill. The ASA will continue to work diligently with members of Congress to legislatively block this rule from being implemented.

Our third federal focus is the removal of the CLEO Certification requirement for NFA transfers. We are currently working with members of Congress to draft legislation to eliminate the de facto veto power that CLEOs hold over NFA applicants. While blocking the implementation of 41P is a top priority, this legislation will permanently fix the modern day problems associated with the antiquated inclusion of CLEOs in the NFA transfer process.

Finally, the ASA is also working to fix the misinformed State Department ban on the export of suppressors to allied nations overseas. This ban is based on nothing more than an internal State Department memo, written over a decade ago, that was never published in the Federal Register. The ASA has been working with both the State Department, as well as members of Congress, to fix this problem.  There is simply no reason to prevent American manufacturers from competing in global markets, like those found in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

The successes of 2015 would not have been possible without the widespread support of our members, our sponsors, and the partner organizations with whom we have the privilege to work alongside. Without our members and our sponsors, the ASA would not exist. We would especially like to thank AcuSport, SilencerCo, Silencer Shop, Daniel Defense, Gemtech, Yankee Hill Machine, Thunder Beast Arms Corp., Advanced Armament Corp., Dakota Silencer, Federal Premium Ammunition, Freedom Munitions, Liberty Suppressors, and Vortex Optics, as well as all 91 ASA Dealers for contributing to the ASA, and allowing us to advocate on their behalf.

The American Suppressor Association is one part of a larger team that is working hard to pass pro-suppressor reform across the country. We are proud to work alongside partner organizations like the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to advance our cause nationwide. In October, we were honored to receive the “2015 Friends of NASC Award”, for our support of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and the CSF. Without the support of NASC, the CSF, and the NRA, many pro-suppressor laws would not have passed in 2015.

The path to victory will not be easy, but if we work together and make our voices heard, we will ultimately prevail. We look forward to the day when we are no longer taxed to protect our hearing while exercising our Second Amendment rights at the range, and in the field. Together, we can ensure that future generations of sportsmen and women will no longer have to sacrifice their hearing.

Here’s to a quieter 2016!

Posted in 41P, American Suppressor Association, Educational, Hunting, Hunting, Law Enforcement, Legislation, NFA, NRA, Ownership, Shall Certify, Shall Sign, Silencers are Legal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MICHIGAN: LEGALIZATION OF SUPPRESSOR HUNTING TO BE CONSIDERED BY NATURAL RESOURCES COMMISSION

Salvo Hunting

Yesterday, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) heard testimony on the merits of suppressor hunting at a public hearing in Lansing, MI. During the meeting, a member of the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division delivered a presentation to the NRC expressing that their department does not object to allowing hunters to use suppressors. Following the presentation, NRC Chairman John Matonich asked that a resolution be drafted and presented for first consideration at the January 14th NRC meeting. If approved, the measure will then move for a final vote at the February 11th NRC meeting.

During public comment, representatives from the American Suppressor Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and Gemtech all provided testimony in support of making Michigan the 38th state to legalize suppressor hunting.

Suppressors, which are already legal to possess in Michigan, are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Michigan is one of only four states in which their possession is legal, but their use in the field is not. Since 2011, 15 states have legalized suppressor hunting for all game animals. We will continue to work together to ensure that Michigan is the 16th.

Despite common misconceptions, suppressors are not silent. They are simply mufflers for firearms. There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:

  1. HEARING PROTECTIONNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late. Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs around the world.
  2. SAFER HUNTINGMost hunters do not wear not wear hearing protection in the field because they want to hear their surroundings. The trouble is, exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage. Suppressors allow hunters to maintain full situational awareness, while still protecting their hearing. The result is a safer hunting experience for the hunter, and for those nearby.
  3. NOISE COMPLAINTSAs urban developments advance into rural areas, shooting ranges and hunting preserves across the country are being closed due to noise complaints. Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.
  4. ACCURACY: Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

If you would like to support this measure, please contact the Michigan NRC and politely express your position at: NRC@michigan.gov, or by phone at (517) 284-6237. We will keep you updated as this measure advances. 

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Posted in American Suppressor Association, Educational, Hunting, Hunting, Law Enforcement, Legislation, NFA, NRA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment