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MASSACHUSETTS: SUPPRESSOR LEGALIZATION BILL TO BE HEARD IN COMMITTEE

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On Tuesday, July 18th at 1:00 PM in Room A-1, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hear two bills which seek to legalize suppressor ownership in Massachusetts. H. 763, sponsored by Rep. Josh Cutler (D – Plymouth), H. 789, sponsored by and Rep. Paul Frost (R – Auburn) and Sen. Michael Moore (D – Second Worcester), 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.

Although legal in 42 states, suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same process that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait ten to twelve months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork. In stark contrast, many countries in Europe place little to no regulations on their purchase, possession, or use.

The American Suppressor Association will be on hand to testify in support of these bills, but we need your help! Using the contact information below, please contact members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and politely urge them to vote in support of H. 763 and H. 789. 

Sen. William N. Brownsberger – Chairperson  William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz – Vice-Chair  Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov

Sen. John F. Keenan  John.Keenan@masenate.gov

Sen. Cynthia S. Creem   Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov

Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen – Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov

Sen. Richard J. Ross – Richard.Ross@masenate.gov

Rep. Claire D. Cronin – Chairperson  Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov

Rep. James M. Cantwell – Vice-Chair James.Cantwell@mahouse.gov

Rep. Colleen M. Garry – Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov

Rep. Carole A. Fiola   Carole.Fiola@mahouse.gov

Rep. Daniel J. Hunt – Daniel.Hunt@mahouse.gov

Rep. Michael S. Day – Michael.Day@mahouse.gov

Rep. Rady Mom – Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov

Rep. Paul Tucker – Paul.Tucker@mahouse.gov

Rep. Bud Williams – Bud.Williams@mahouse.gov

Rep. Shelia C. Harrington – Sheila.Harrington@mahouse.gov

Rep. James J. Lyons, Jr. – James.Lyons@mahouse.gov

ASA – Massachusetts Letter – Judiciary Committee – July 18, 2017

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 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.

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