WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 4th, the first day of the 117th Congress, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03) introduced H.R. 95. Known as the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), the primary focus of the bill is to remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act (NFA), making it easier for law-abiding hunters and sportsmen to protect their hearing while at the range or in the field. Rep. Duncan’s legislation also includes several technical amendments that would further clean up existing statute regarding suppressors.
“The Hearing Protection Act is a commonsense bill that is important to all sportsmen and women across the country,” said Rep. Duncan. “Personally, I have experienced hearing damage from firearm noise, and I believe easier access to suppressors may have prevented much of this damage from early on in my life. Bottom line, this bill aims to fix this health issue that has already been addressed by many other countries. Now is the time to ensure sportsmen and women can have the safety and protection they need while hunting and shooting.”
Originally introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ-05) in 2015, the Hearing Protection Act has garnered national attention for nearly six years. However, this year marks the first time that the HPA will be introduced into a unilaterally Democrat-controlled Congress.
“Regardless of who holds power in DC, 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 ASA. “With anti-suppressor legislators now in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, the path to passage of the HPA is now exponentially harder than it was before. It will take years, but we at ASA, along with Rep. Duncan and his tremendous staff, will not stop working until we get suppressors out of the NFA.”
The terms “silencer” and “suppressor” refer to the same thing – a muffler for a firearm. Contrary to popular belief, no tool will ever be able to make a gunshot silent. Outside of the context of shooting, nothing will even be able to make them quiet. Guns are simply too loud.
That is why the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) all recommend suppressors as a tool to mitigate preventable hearing damage.
The Hearing Protection Act is a common-sense step that aligns with the 42 states where private suppressor ownership is currently legal, and the 40 states where hunting with a suppressor is legal. This legislation seeks to 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.
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 the suppressor community. To accomplish our mission, our principal initiatives focus on state lobbying, federal lobbying, public education, and industry outreach.
For more information on the Hearing Protection Act, visit www.HearingProtectionAct.com.