Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Well, I think we’re all a bit guilty of that when it comes to the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), a bill that would remove the NFA-shackles from suppressors thus streamlining the buying process while also making them more affordable. HPA would mean no CLEO sign-off, no registration, no paperwork, no $200 tax stamp.
Yes, with the election of president Trump, many of us celebrated not only because it meant the end of the anti-gun Obama era, the defeat of the looming, gun-grabbing Hillary machine but also because of the possibilities that a pro-gun administration might deliver within the first 100 days of office.
So, like eager beavers, we began counting our chickens the day the Billionaire real estate magnate took over the oval office. One hatchling: Hearing Protection Act. Two hatchlings: National concealed carry reciprocity. Three hatchlings: Removal of sanctions banning the importation of WWII era rifles.
Yet, the reality is we’re still staring at a basket of unhatched eggs. In our zeal for the new “orange-faced” (I say that with endearment) commander-in-chief what we forgot to keep in mind is that nothing in Washington happens overnight. Everything takes time, typically much longer than one would hope.
Now, to his credit, Trump has really hit the ground running and he does have a mighty tailwind in the form of a GOP-majority in both chambers, but even so, there is no telling how long it will take before we’re buying cans like candy (I mean that figuratively, the purchase of candy does not require a NICS background check like a suppressor would under the HPA).
Ron Martinez, the CEO of Gemtech and a board member of the American Suppressor Association, told AR15News.com that it probably won’t happen until 2018ish.
“Unfortunately there have been some misleading statements about the Hearing Protection Act. It will not pass in the first 100 days,” said Martinez.
“You have to understand the process in Washington DC. I met with Idaho Senator Crapo’s office, who is sponsoring the HPA bill in the Senate. It will take a while as I have said before. The bill sits now in the Senate Finance Committee trying to get to a hearing meeting. The process is long and will take until the end of 2018 at best.”
Most likely, HPA will need 60 votes to overcome a Democratically-led filibuster in the Senate. Those 60 votes may not be there right now even with the GOP majority (52 Republicans currently in the Senate). But with many Democrats on the hot seat this upcoming midterm (10 in states where Trump won in 2016), those votes may be there as the midterms approach and vulnerable incumbents suddenly start making moves to win the “gun vote.”
Unfortunately, one of the byproducts of all this excitement for the HPA has been a buying freeze in the suppressor market. Many folks are waiting for the HPA shoe to drop before they purchase that gun muffler, believing that it will be cheaper and easier. This is having a real impact on can manufacturers.
Reports earlier this month indicated that SilencerCo laid off 100 employees because of the cutoff in sales. To rebound from this freeze, this week, the company has announced a $200 “Tax Rebate Program,” which is not technically a rebate program but a $200 store credit with the purchase of a suppressor (see below):
That’s one option for those of you who were waiting on HPA to rollout. But, as many have pointed out, there is a provision within HPA that would refund the $200 tax stamp to those who purchased a suppressor after a certain date (Senate version of the HPA says: Jan. 9, 2017; whereas the House version of the HPA says: Oct. 22, 2015). That date may change as the HPA makes its way up the legislative ladder but it’s somewhat safe to assume that those who take the plunge on a can now stand to get that money back from Uncle Sam. In short, if you’re in the market for a suppressor, don’t wait. Buy one now!
While you consider the choice of to buy or not to buy, enjoy the following video that pretty much pokes fun at the whole situation.