WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, March 14th, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and 12 Senators introduced the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) of 2019 in the Senate. A companion bill to Representative Jeff Duncan’s (R-SC-03) H.R. 155, S. 817 intends to remove suppressors from the oppressive National Firearms Act (NFA). The legislation seeks to regulate suppressors in the same manner as traditional firearms, replacing the months-long approval process with an instant background check, and solving ATF’s inability to approve NFA applications in a reasonable timeframe. The new process would be far less onerous for law-abiding citizens who wish to protect their hearing while at the range or in the field and would continue to bar prohibited persons from purchasing or possessing these accessories.
“The Hearing Protection Act is the right step toward rolling back overly-burdensome regulations on Idaho’s sportswomen and men,” said Senator Crapo. “This legislation would ensure individuals in Idaho can have adequate hearing protection needed while hunting and participating in other recreational shooting sports.”
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. However, with anti-suppressor legislators now in control of the House, the path to passage of the HPA is exponentially harder than it was before.
“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. “Our goal this Congress is to systematically breakdown the rampant lies and misinformation that are being fed to and perpetuated by anti-suppressor Senators and the current anti-suppressor majority in the House. It may take years, but we at ASA, along with Senator Crapo, Representative Duncan, and their tremendous staffs, will not stop working until we get suppressors where they belong: out of the NFA.”
Suppressors are one of the most misunderstood tools in existence. They have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. In order to purchase a suppressor, prospective buyers must live in one of 42 states where suppressors are legal, send in an application including fingerprints and passport photos to ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax, notify their local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO), and wait an indeterminate amount of time for ATF to process the application. As of March 2019, typical wait times range from 5 to 14 months.
The terms “silencer” and “suppressor” refer to the same thing – a muffler for a firearm. It is important to note that nothing can actually silence the noise of a gunshot. Physics will not allow it, as there are too many variables that suppressors do not affect. In reality, suppressors work in the same manner as mufflers on cars, which function by trapping hot expanding gasses and allowing them to slowly cool, thereby reducing the noise to safer levels.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SUPPRESSOR ASSOCIATION
The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is the unified voice of the suppressor community. We exist for one reason and one reason only: to fight for pro-suppressor reform nationwide.
The ability of the American Suppressor Association to fight for pro-suppressor reform is tied directly to our ability to fundraise. Since the ASA’s formation in 2011, 3 states have legalized suppressor ownership and 18 states have legalized suppressor hunting. Much of this would not have happened without your support. For more information on how you can join us in the fight to help protect and expand your right to own and use suppressors, visit www.AmericanSuppressorAssociation.com.