Have you ever sat back and wondered “Why exactly are suppressors an NFA controlled item”? If you have you’re not alone. Suppressors do not make a weapon “silent”, they just make them quieter and in many cases quiet enough to be hearing safe. Today, the American Suppressor Association announced that the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) has been introduced into Congress by Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona. The Act, if approved, will remove the National Firearms Act (NFA) tax and replace the ATF transfer process with an instantaneous NICS background check. This means law abiding citizens would be able to purchase a suppressor in the same way they currently purchase a non-NFA firearm. We know this will be a long battle to get approved but we all need to be contacting our local representatives to make sure they know we need them to support the Hearing Protection Act or HPA. Take a moment to read through the official ASA press release below.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is pleased to announce the introduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) by Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05). This historic piece of legislation 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.
“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. “The removal of suppressors from the National Firearms Act has been our ultimate goal since day one. For months, we have worked alongside Rep. Salmon’s office and the National Rifle Association to craft this legislation. 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 with Rep. Salmon 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 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.
Rep. Salmon’s Hearing Protection Act will fix the flawed federal treatment of suppressors, making it easier for hunters and sportsmen to protect their hearing in the 41 states where private suppressor ownership is currently legal, and the 37 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.
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 suppressor manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and consumers. To accomplish our mission, our principal initiatives focus on state lobbying, federal lobbying, public education, and industry research.
The ASA is a sponsorship driven organization. Without the help of the following sponsors, this legislation would not have been possible: AcuSport, SilencerCo, Silencer Shop, Daniel Defense, Gemtech, Yankee Hill Machine Co., Thunder Beast Arms Corporation, Advanced Armament Corporation, Federal Premium Ammunition ®, Vortex Optics, Dakota Silencer, Freedom Munitions, and Liberty Suppressors.
For more information on how you can join the ASA, and help protect and expand your right to own and use suppressors, please visit www.AmericanSuppressorAssociation.com.