WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is pleased to announce the reintroduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) by Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03) and Rep. John Carter (TX-31). This historic piece of legislation, which was originally introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) in the 114th Congress, will remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA), replacing the antiquated federal transfer process with an instantaneous NICS background check. The HPA also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchase a suppressor after October 22, 2015, which was the original date of introduction.

“The American Suppressor Association believes that citizens should not have to pay a tax to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with Representatives Duncan and Carter, who have reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act in this new Congress. Although we recognize that introducing this bill is the first step in what will be a lengthy process to change federal law, we look forward to working on the Duncan-Carter bill, alongside the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the NRA to advance and ultimately enact this common-sense legislation.”

Also known as silencers, suppressors are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Despite common Hollywood-based misconceptions, the laws of physics dictate that no suppressor will ever be able to render gunfire silent. Suppressors are simply mufflers for firearms, which function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to slowly cool in a controlled environment. On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 – 35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection, suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting lands.

Unfortunately, suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. The NFA regulates the transfer and possession of certain types of firearms and devices, including suppressors. Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same background check process that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork. In stark contrast, many countries in Europe place no regulations on their purchase, possession, or use.

The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act will fix the flawed federal treatment of suppressors, making it easier for hunters and sportsmen to protect their hearing in the 42 states where private suppressor ownership is currently legal, and the 40 states where hunting with a suppressor is legal. This legislation 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.


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 outreach.

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

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Jason

    Long over due! I would have the hearing protection act of 2017 amended to also include the removal of AOW’s, SBS, and SBR from the NFA. I would also amend it to have registered MG’s ran through the FBI NICS system for approval rather than hiring more NFA examiners.

  2. Ray Knell

    When will this be voted on

  3. James A Brower

    Hope this goes through ASAP, it is well past due!!

  4. Rob

    This is amazing. Im not sure why it was ever an issue..

  5. Randy Compton

    I have tinnitus in both ears from work and shooting sports. I would like to retain as much hearing as possible for the rest of my years. This act will help greatly in doing this.

  6. Niels Mortensen

    I support this.

  7. Andrew

    Is there any way to start an official petition to show the shear number of people who want this passed?

  8. Floyd Cooper

    Removing the restriction on silencers are shotguns and rifles would help thousands of hunters annually and Target shooters

  9. Stan

    It’s time for the Affordable Suppressor Act of 2017.

  10. Steve Smith

    This will be an awesome FIRST step. Next, amend FOPA and get rid of the Hughes Act, do away with the Gun Control Act of 1968, deregulate SBR, AOW, and SBS items, and generally just dissolve the BATFE, to cease their stomping all over the 2nd Amendment in an effort to convince people how relevant they believe they are, and how necessary they are. Let people realize that they’re simply dead weight, and allow the funds to be reallocated to a better use.

  11. Geoff

    ANDREW. There used to be a petition at We The People, but the page comes up blank now. That was 2 years ago it was started. Best bet now is message your Congress Critters in the House and Senate.

  12. Norm Lessik

    You do know that you should still wear hearing protection, even when using a weapon equipped with a suppressor. I completely support this act, but there is a huge misconception about sound suppressors that needs to be addressed if it is going to ever get voted into law.

  13. Norm Lessik

    They need to remove the provision of the $200 refund if they want to get this thing voted & passed into law. The NFA is flawed in just about every way, but anything that might negatively impact the U.S. Governments budget is going to be a hurdle for those that are on the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Committee on the Budget. We need to put a bug into our elected representatives ear that we support getting the law changed, but are willing to forgo any budgetary losses that might prevent its actual passing.

  14. Rick Torres

    As an avid shooter I support this bill to repeal this previous legislation that is flawed. Would like to see the inclusion of SBR’s as well in this bill or another bill introducing legislature to repeal that as well. Hearing is a very critical part of the 5 senses so any legislature to help protect it is supported by this writer.

  15. Mark

    Hollywood. It seems like 90% of Americans’ misinformation about guns comes from Hollywood, and then is repeated and further distorted by the liberal media and democrats.

  16. Mark

    You can write your state senators & representatives also. I remember seeing a petition going around a month or so ago when Steven Crowder did a piece on the bill. Do a Google search. It might still be active.

  17. Mark

    That’s a really good point. I was surprised to see that refund provision. I guess it just depends on how many suppressors have been sold in that window. It probably isn’t a staggering number. The tax and the cost of suppressors themselves make these devices a luxury good, sadly.

    Compared with the astronomical expenditures our government routinely passes, this should be a pittance. I hope Trump Jr. keeps up the pressure for us.

  18. Mark

    Once the tax stamp is gone, can’t we just build our own, or are they still regulated devices under the bill?

  19. Mark

    What I don’t understand is why these need to require a background check at all. The whole Hollywood myth about ‘silencers’ is bogus (despite the Mythbusters saying otherwise), so why perpetuate that misinformation by requiring a background check?

  20. ASA

    Baby steps. They are still classified as a firearm, so a NICS background check will be required, but the long paperwork processing time will be eliminated.

  21. ASA

    That will depend on your state law and other Federal law provisions. Yes, it is legal to build some firearms under Federal law. We recommend you consult with an attorney that specializes in firearms law in your state of residence so that you understand the requirements. It is legal to build your own suppressor already, provided the requirements of the NFA are met (filing and approval of a Form 1).

  22. ASA

    The laws of physics do not apply within the city limits of Hollywood. In Hollywood you can also fly, streak to distant planets in outer space in mere seconds, jump a car off a building, animals can talk, and many other things that are not physically possible anywhere else. That is how they get the suppressors so quiet there. *heavy dose of sarcasm*

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