PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – On Monday, April 12th, the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Judiciary will host a virtual public hearing on 21 firearms related bills. Included in the docket are Senate Bill 508 and Senate Bill 517, two pieces of legislation introduced by Senator Gordon Rogers (R-21) that seek to repeal the prohibition on the ownership of firearm suppressors in Rhode Island. If enacted, SB 508 would also legalize the use of lawfully possessed suppressors while hunting.
Suppressors are currently legal to own in 42 states, 40 of which allow their use while hunting. The prohibition of firearm suppressors in Rhode Island is built on the misconception that suppressors can render the noise of a gunshot silent or inaudible. This could hardly be further from the truth as even the quietest suppressed gunshot is as loud as a jackhammer striking concrete. Suppressors are not a danger to society; rather, they are an effective tool that can help protect hearing.
The American Suppressor Association will provide verbal and written testimony in support of Sen. Rogers’ bills.
Help us bring Rhode Island one step closer to becoming the 43rd state to legalize suppressors. Using the form below, please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and politely urge them to vote in support of SB 508 and SB 517.
“Persons wearing conventional hearing protection are not without risk of NIHL when using firearms. The noise reduction of hearing protection devices varies considerably across users and may provide significantly less protection from noise than the labeled noise reduction rating (NRR) suggests...However, using conventional hearing protection in conjunction with a suppressor can significantly reduce the risk of NIHL more than using either device alone…Therefore, NHCA supports the use of firearm noise suppressors as a form of an engineering noise control to reduce hazardous firearm noise exposures.”
National Hearing Conservation Association
There are many benefits to using a suppressor, including:
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.
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.
As urban development advances 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.
Suppressors reduce recoil, and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.
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 months for 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.
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.