Dear ASA Supporter,
It’s hard to believe 2023 is already almost half way through! The team at ASA has been incredibly active, working in Washington, DC, Washington state, and a ton of places in between. We are working hard to improve our communication with you, our members and supporters, because we know that up until now that communication has lacked consistency and depth. You deserve to know what your contributions are funding, so in the spirit of transparency we will begin circulating quarterly updates, beginning today with an update on Q1 and Q2 of this year. Buckle up, because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover!
Defeated Suppressor Ban In Virginia
2023 began at a sprint, with full suppressor ban and confiscation bills introduced in Virginia and New Mexico. In Virginia, ASA helped fight Delegate Dan Helmer’s House Bill 2240 by coordinating efforts with our counterparts at NRA-ILA and testifying in opposition. Thankfully, Helmer’s bill was killed in the Virginia House Public Safety Subcommittee, ending the possibility of anti-suppressor legislation in Virginia this year.
Defeated Suppressor Ban In New Mexico
The threat loomed larger in New Mexico, where ASA went toe to toe with Senator William Soules, the lead author of Senate Bill 171. On two days’ notice, ASA Vice President Owen Miller and I flew to Santa Fe to meet with legislators and provide testimony in opposition to the bill. We explained that suppressors are just a highly regulated safety device that every law abiding citizen should have access to, and that banning them would do nothing other than deprive New Mexicans of one of the most effective tools available to help protect their hearing.
Much to our surprise, the anti-gun legislators actually listened! Minutes after we testified, Senator Soules proposed an amendment to remove the suppressor ban from his legislation. I’ve been lobbying for suppressors for 12 years, and I’ve never seen a legislator amend their bill on the spot like that. It was truly remarkable. The amended measure passed by a 6 to 1 vote, after which the immediate threat to suppressors in New Mexico was over. That said, we will keep our eye on New Mexico because it could easily return in the future.
Fought Anti-Suppressor Legislation in Washington State
In Washington state, the Second Amendment community wasn’t so lucky. Representative Strom Peterson’s House Bill 1240, one of the most aggressively anti-gun “assault weapon” bans in the nation, passed the legislature and was signed into law. Although the new law doesn’t outright ban suppressors, it does severely infringe upon law-abiding citizens’ right to use them on their semi-automatic firearms. We spent several days on the ground in Olympia, testifying in opposition to the bill and working with our partners at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation to educate as many members as possible about the merits of suppressors. In the end, our arguments fell on deaf ears and the measure became law. Nothing in politics is certain, but we do expect this law to be overturned by the courts.
Fought Anti-Suppressor Legislation in Colorado
In Colorado, ASA was part of the coalition that defeated yet another “assault weapons” ban, House Bill 23-1230. ASA Vice President Owen Miller testified in opposition to the bill, noting during his testimony that any restriction on threaded barrels is a direct infringement on law-abiding citizens’ ability to use a suppressor. Nearly 600 ASA members in Colorado contacted their legislators to voice their opposition as well. This time, our voices were heard and the bill was tabled indefinitely!
ASA-F and Silencer Shop Sue To End Illinois’ Suppressor Ban
On the litigation front, the newly formed ASA Foundation and Silencer Shop have teamed up to support Anderson v. Raoul, a lawsuit challenging the state of Illinois’ suppressor ban. After last summer’s Bruen ruling, we knew it was time to get to work on a case that would apply the Second Amendment’s protections to the states. Simply put, any state’s ban on suppressor ownership and possession is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment that we will challenge and ultimately overturn. Since day one, 50 state legality has been a cornerstone goal for ASA. We believe this lawsuit, along with two more that we plan to file, are the key to achieving that goal.
ASA Hires Jessica Kallam - VP of Marketing
Last, but certainly not least, on May 1st we officially hired Jessica Kallam on as ASA’s Vice President of Marketing. Jessica brings more than 20 years of firearms marketing and PR experience to the table, including four years at ASA sponsor SilencerCo, where she served as VP of Marketing. With her expertise, I pledge that we will be more open and effective at letting you know what your membership dollars are going towards. Afterall, as an investor in our nonprofit, you deserve to know where every dollar goes!