Hearing Protection Act Introduced (To Remove Suppressors from NFA)!

The Savage 10 BA Stealth Rifle with a Burris scope and GEMTECH suppressor.  Check out the full review!

This week, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Congressman John “Judge” Carter (R-TX) introduced the highly anticipated H.R. 367, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA).

The Hearing Protection Act is a big, big deal as it would make suppressors cheaper and easier to purchase by removing them from the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Under current law, if one wants a gun muffler they have to wade through a bunch of NFA red tape (registration, photographs & fingerprints, CLEO sign-off), which includes paying a transfer tax of $200, and wait months before receiving their can.

If HPA is approved, the purchasing process would be entirely streamlined and would be analogous to purchasing a firearm from an FFL or gun shop dealer. There would be no NFA paperwork to deal with, no transfer tax, no lengthy waiting period. Instead, all one would need to do is pass a FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check. Easy-peasy.

Sadly, though, this would only be the case for the 42 states that have legalized suppressors. For citizens living in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, where suppressors have been explicitly outlawed, well, you’d be out of luck.

SEE ALSO: Legally Buy Machine Guns, Silencers, Short Barrels–Understand the NFA

“I’ve enjoyed the shooting sports since I was a young child – beginning with plinking with a .22 rifle and dove hunting with my dad,” said Rep. Duncan in a press release. “My hearing has been damaged because of gun noise. Had I had access to a suppressor, it may have protected me, as well as millions of other Americans, from this sort of hearing loss.”

“This is a health issue even recognized in Europe,” continued Duncan. “It just doesn’t make any sense to regulate suppressors the way we do presently. I think it certainly is questionable from a constitutional standpoint. It’s striking that even Britain, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, has no restrictions on suppressors.”

The bill enjoys bipartisan support and has 43 original cosponsors. It’s also supported by various gun-rights organizations and groups, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and the National Rifle Association.

“Many gun owners and sportsmen suffer severe hearing loss after years of shooting, and yet the tool necessary to reduce such loss is onerously regulated and taxed. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act would allow people easier access to suppressors, which would help them to better protect their hearing.”

Naturally, anti-gunners vehemently oppose the measure. They believe it would make it easier for criminals and potential mass shooters to perpetrate attacks.

“They want the general public to think it’s about hearing aids or something,” Kristen Rand, the legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, told The Washington Post. “It’s both a silly and smart way to do it, I guess. But when the general public finds out what’s really happening, there will be outrage.”

Of course, that raises the question of “outraged” over what? As the NSSF notes, “Suppressed firearms are clearly not the choice of criminals. The fears and concerns about suppressor ownership and use are unfounded and have not been seen in the over 100-year history of suppressors.”

SEE ALSO: What Happens When Suppressors Are No Longer NFA Items?

Plus, and it’s worth circling back to this point, they’re legal to use in many countries in Europe! If it’s not even an issue for our neighbors across the pond who have notoriously stringent gun laws, then why aren’t suppressors already a mainstream accessory here in the U.S.?

The fact that they’re so heavily regulated makes zero sense. And judging by comments made by Donald Trump Jr., the son of our soon-to-be president, he gets it.

“It’s about safety,” said in a September video (see below) interview with Joshua Waldron, the founder of SilencerCo. “It’s a health issue, frankly.”

We’ll keep an eye on the HPA. Keep in mind that this is one of several pro-gun bills that have been launched in recent weeks. Two other bills to keep and eye on are the “Safe Students Act” (H.R. 34), a bill that would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990 and the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.”

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • John Mac November 3, 2017, 9:43 am

    Looking at all the comments above, California has come into play many times. This is the most Liberal State in the Nation with the largest amount of Illegals and a state government that is more corrupt then N.Y. or IL. America would be much better off Morally and Financially If They could/would succeed from the United States. Then if The Rino’s like McCain and a few others such as Pelosi and Weinstien would retire, Just Maybe we could get some decent laws changed to more enable us to have better Gun Rights. Come on to TENNESSEE and you will see a Large amount of the Population that Carry firearms, with most of Law enforcement agreeing that it makes their jobs easier. Our State is one of the lowest in crime and The 2nd Amendment is one of the reasons. WE also Stand for the American Flag and most of us display The Confederate flag when Necessary.

  • The Equalizer January 17, 2017, 8:44 am

    Correct me if I am wrong, but when I read a synopsis of this law last year it specifically said there was language in the law that would prohibit the States from not abiding by this law.
    In other words, even neo-communist controlled Californicate and Pew York would have to legalize suppressors for their citizens.

    Am I wrong?

  • Frank January 14, 2017, 9:06 am

    I could see them asking for some type of restrictions for non-licensed suppressors, like caliber specific and reducing noise only to a specific level (enough to protect hearing, but still load enough not to be any kind of threat to anyone). I can actually see manufacturers making cheaper models voluntarily that only reduce to levels that don’t damage hearing — that would make them cheaper to manufacture and more affordable for mass marketing.

  • Ziggy January 13, 2017, 11:01 am

    It sounds good to me, although I live in NY so who knows if or when I will benefit. Now, can someone explain why a NICS check should be needed?

    • Penrod January 13, 2017, 9:09 pm

      “can someone explain why a NICS check should be needed?”

      For the same reason we have to get a NICS check whenever we buy a new muffler for our vehicles. You wouldn’t want people to be able to sneak up on you in their Ford, would you? At least not without a federal background check. Or…um…something like that.

  • Leighton Cavendish January 13, 2017, 10:57 am

    The Dems won’t let it pass…we all know that.
    I would be OK with all the red tape…but without the $200 tax stamp and 8-9 MONTH wait.
    Or maybe a one-time fee or limited time purchase period…like 2-5 years… . Once you get the OK then you can buy what you want with no waiting period. No resales.Personal use only.
    Should be NO restrictions…but might have to give a little to get a little.

    • AK January 13, 2017, 12:11 pm

      The so-called Affordable Care Act passed without one Republican vote. Pro-gun Republicans (along with some Dems) are in the vast majority in both Houses. How could the \”Dems\” stop approval?

      • Joe January 13, 2017, 1:15 pm

        The (Un)Affordable Care Act passed with a simple majority due to the Senate changing the rules and requiring only a majority vote to pass bills that were budget related (Reconciliation Rule). Up until Harry Reid and the Dems changed the rules, you needed 60 votes. Interestingly, the Dems (according to Chuck Schumer) regret the decision now that the Republicans control both the House and Senate and have the Whitehouse.

        I would imagine that unless this bill uses the same legislative acrobatics that they used for the Obummercare, the reconcilation rule/simple majority vote would not be available for it.

        • The Equalizer January 17, 2017, 8:29 am

          “The (Un)Affordable Care Act passed with a simple majority due to the Senate changing the rules and requiring only a majority vote to pass bills that were budget related (Reconciliation Rule).”

          That is incorrect. The ACA was passed in 2010 when the DemonRats had a super-majority of 60 votes in the Senate. All 40 Repubs voted against it.
          Reid/DemonRats changed from 60 votes to simple majority about 3 years ago to deny Repubs the filibuster so Obama judicial and executive appointments would only need 51 votes to pass.

          Now the DemonRats are reaping the whirlwind. Payback’s a bitch, isn’t it?

  • Steven Johnson January 13, 2017, 10:21 am

    Does Federal law not supercede state law. For example, if the DEA chose, they could raid any marijuana growing /selling operation they want in any state despite state laws permitting it. Why would the same not be true of suppressors? If they are legally at the federal law level how could a state hope to impose a law that contradicted the federal statute at trial?

    • Steve January 13, 2017, 11:01 am

      A state can make stricter laws than federal laws, but not less strict which is why they can still raid marijuana growers.

    • LVP January 13, 2017, 11:07 am

      States Rights. To prevent an overarching Federal tyranny, States have certain autonomies.

      • deanbob January 13, 2017, 4:54 pm

        Seems these anti-gun states exert a tyranny of their own, from which residents’ current choice is to flee to a less tyrannical state.

        • Amen Firearms Inc. January 28, 2019, 9:10 am

          People are fleeing California, New York, and New Jersey. Maybe not because of their lack of gun rights, but they are leaving. It’s because of the over taxation, residents are Made to pay for. All of the “free” things Illegal Aliens, and Non Producers Need, like free food, free healthcare, free eduction, and free or subsidized housing.

    • Chris Baker January 15, 2017, 7:34 am

      In this case it might supersede state law, depending on whether or not it’s considered part of a firearm. Of course you don’t really need a silencer if you don’t have a gun so it’s pretty obvious it IS part of a gun. The tenth amendment reads:
      Amendment X
      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
      The 2nd amendment SHOULD supersede that because the wording of the 2nd is absolute. NO state should be allowed to make laws regarding firearms if the 2nd amendment was actually enforced.
      Amendment II
      A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
      There aren’t any exceptions in that last phrase. No “except by states” or “except by counties” or “except by cities”. There are also no “as long as…” in that phrase such as “as long as you get a permit” or “as long as it’s on the approved list” or “as long as it’s only capable of X number of shots” or “as long as it doesn’t have a silencer” or any number of other unconstitutional restrictions put in place by the various government bodies. They are all unconstitutional.

    • Brendan January 15, 2017, 10:06 am

      No, state law supersedes federal law not the other way around.

      It’s in the Bill of rights: ‘all powers not expressly granted to the federal government are given to the states.’ Or something close.

    • josh January 15, 2017, 11:10 pm

      You can add to but can’t take away, famous saying in the military for all the rules they have.

    • The Equalizer January 17, 2017, 8:40 am

      Correct me if I am wrong, but when I read a synopsis of this law last year it specifically said there was language in the law that would prohibit the States from not abiding by this law.
      In other words, even neo-communist controlled Californicate and Pew York would have to legalize suppressors for their citizens.

      Am I wrong?

      • Amen Firearms Inc. January 28, 2019, 9:23 am

        You are correct. That’s why those States like California can “ban” certain guns, or magazine capacity. They can ban certain “parts” of a rifle, like they did with the AR-15. Google Search “California Compliant AR-15, and you will see the Hideous looking (and more expensive) AR-15 that is legal to own in the PeopleZ RepubliK of Kalifornia. January 2019 they added “no detachable magazines” to their assault on the AR-15. First was a “Bullet button” which replaced a normal mag drop/mag release. Then you couldn’t have a “pistol grip”, so they changed it to a “featureless” AR-15. Then they introduced a 10 round Maximum. NOW it’s a NON-Detachable magazine. Mind you, criminals still use the same AR-15’s the rest of the Country does, and SO DO the State Legislators. Yes, that’s right, the State Legislators EXEMPTED themselves from ALL of California’s Gun Laws. The rest of the World calls that Tyranny…..

  • Robert Smith January 13, 2017, 9:50 am

    I’d like to see Congress address the issue that the average person in New York City and D.C. still can’t legally own a handgun before they get around to arcane NFA stuff like suppressors.

    • JoshO January 13, 2017, 10:42 am

      Arcane? Before you use a word on the internet that you don’t really know the meaning of, perhaps you should look it up. Or maybe you don’t realize that suppressors are big business right now. There is nothing arcane about them.

      • Yober January 13, 2017, 12:17 pm

        I guess you’ve never lived under a Constitutional wasteland like Kalifornia. We’ve been waiting to join the rest of the states for quite some time. Any time the nation adopts something rational, I just look at it and sigh because I know we are essentially a rogue nation with no hope in sight — can’t vote ’em out because a third of the state is illegals, more or less, and dependent on the gubment. No conservative movement wants to touch us, and the NRA has abandoned us.

        • josh January 15, 2017, 11:13 pm

          Ah but free states such as Texas, Alabama and so on still have houses available at great prices to purchase. Just a thought. Lol

      • gary January 20, 2017, 11:53 am

        I lived there for six and a half years working on contract to a car importer, I just learned to called Kalifornia the land of FRUITS, NUTS and FLAKES end of story. There are more of them voting (not to mention all the ILLEGALS) then normal real people so they get but down and saddled with all the San Fran BULL that gets shoveled at them. Eat it or leave is the only alternate. You will not sway a POTHEAD DRUGGIE!!

  • fxdwg03 January 13, 2017, 9:48 am

    I have a suppressor and it was a joke of all the hoops that I had to jump through to get it, but I did. I do not see this process any different than purchasing a firearm from a FFL Dealer where they make the phone call to get the order to PROCEED on the purchase I am hoping this legislation will attract a lot of attention and continue moving forward as it is a useful tool in reducing decibels and recoil.

  • ejharb January 13, 2017, 9:29 am

    The only things in the nfa where a argument could remotely be made for keeping is machine guns and disguised firearms.
    It shouldn’t matter to the government how short the barrel is or whether it’s quiet or not. Truth be told it’d be nice to have full auto.we could call it the ammunition factory jobs stimulus plan.

  • JR January 13, 2017, 9:23 am

    I believe the HPA has a good chance of passing due to how hard that the mainstream rags are pushing bad information and fear mongering about the basis of the act. I read a local op-ed here in my town where the editor talked about “high powered subsonic rounds” (.22 caliber, by the way) and that they come in an “even deadlier long rifle variant” (God no!) apparently everyone will turn into assassins and go around shooting people in the dead of night and throw the world into eternal sexiness (well, maybe not that) if you will believe them.

    As far as bipartisan support – it is only two Democrats, one from Utah and I forget where the other was from, what the bill does have is strong co-sponsors besides Carter and Duncan, just like it did the last time. The little known fact of why it failed (it didn’t “fail” it just never made it out of subcommittee) was because they also jammed up AWB-2015 in the subcommittees to avoid it getting signed by Prez Obama (which it would have). With majorities, and a Republican in office, this should not have a hard time.

    I would not hold my breath, just because between the infrastructure bills, ACA repeal, ACA replacement and a few other bipartisan budgetary bills being pushed, there is a lot of congressional bandwidth being burned. I would really like to see the carry reciprocity pass, it just makes my life easier when I travel.

    I have a feeling right after the HPA passes that dealers will be jacking up the prices of cans until the supply can catch up, if you don’t have a buddy that has a SOT and deals in suppressors, or if you do not have the means to make one yourself on a lathe, to give it a wait to avoid being shafted.

    I would like to see this act pass just for the sake that suppressors were orginally regulated in 1934 to avoid poaching during the Great Depression – even back then with all the Mafia and gang violence, lawmakers knew it was dudes in suits with automatic weapons, not Maxim-silenced weapons, going around killing people. On a few deployments with 7th Group and SOCSOUTH I had a suppressor on my (stupid POS) Mk18, even with a can a supersonic (especially so for SBRs) round is still loud as hell and still jacked up my hearing, suppressors aren’t the antidote, you still have to wear muffs, but what the hell did I know back then I thought it was Call of Duty!

    The other good thing is that means XM177 boosters will be deregulated so I can make a true-to-form clone versus putting a KV linear comp on flash can on it lol.

  • Billybob January 13, 2017, 7:51 am

    Obama did away with the CLIO requirement ! ATF wait time is 8 months to a year ! How long does it take to get a NIC check and type in the new owners NAME – TYPE- CALIBER -BARREL- OVER ALL LENGTH-SERIAL NUMBER ! YET THEY HAVE
    TIME FOR 70+ AGENTS TO VISIT FPS Russia ! Finding nothing wrong ! There was talk of confiscating his guns saying no one should be allowed to own them !

  • Wayne January 13, 2017, 7:33 am

    Let’s bring back select fire weapons too. Prices have gone insane.

  • minker January 13, 2017, 7:15 am

    What I really would like to know is if they are federally deregulated, can I make one like I can make a AR-15 out of a 80%?

    • T1 January 13, 2017, 10:52 am

      You can legally make a suppressor right now, you just have to get permission & be extorted $200 from the ATF first.

  • Rrudytoo January 13, 2017, 6:31 am

    My hearing loss and tinnitus first showed itself while serving in Vietnam and I believe many who have served in the military have experienced similar hearing loss. Each of us would readily testify to the harmful effects that exposure to unmuffled gun fire can have on one’s ability to hear.

    • Jim January 13, 2017, 7:27 am

      I agree with everything you posted in your remarks ! Suppressors could be available or should be issued for our military & purchased by civilians as well for the same reasons. Wearing ear muffs or ear plugs in the military is Not a good idea in a fire fight & you don’t stand in a straight line like the firing line on the range. Even using electronic ear muff doesn’t work because you could never hear when they block all the gun fire sounds. I’ve been on battalion quals where 50 people at a time are firing in very close proximity with each other. To say it’s Loud would be an understatement.

      • Mike January 13, 2017, 9:31 am

        Don’t suppressors effect accuracy?

        • Rrudytoo January 14, 2017, 2:24 pm

          I’m not speaking from personal experience and I hope someone with first hand knowledge will chime in but I’ve seen quite a number of YouTube reviews that cite accuracy improvement with the use of a suppressor. Yes, I was quite surprised to hear that, too! I’m certain that this would not be improvement across the board regarding all weapon and ammunition types but I’ve heard it often enough to want to try a suppressor on my AR.

        • Amen Firearms Inc. January 28, 2019, 9:40 am

          They change the point of impact only. If you sighted in a rifle /scope at say 100 yards, and then installed a suppressor, your point of impact would change, but the overall accuracy would remain the same. You would just readjust your scope, and zero it with the can on. Some guys just rememeber that with their can installed, the gun shoots 1-1/2 inches high, when they hunt with, or without it.
          The NFA rule is ridiculous. Anyone that used, or been on the firing line next to a suppressor knows first hand, that they aren’t a “silencer”, they are a suppressor.
          Hillary Clinton said that the Vegas shooter would have been shooting all night long, if he would have had “Silencers” on his rifle, “because NO ONE would have EVER heard his rifles”. That is an Ignorant statement, by someone who has NEVER been to a gun range and heard a rifle with, and without a Suppressor.

  • Dr Motown January 13, 2017, 6:25 am

    Another benefit of this act would be the creation of market for used-suppressors, which would be good for entry-level buyers, budget-conscious owners, etc. As it currently stands, virtually no such market exists because that stupid $200 tax stamp cuts into any profit margin, and gun stores are unwilling to buy used suppressors for that exact reason (they need $200 to buy it from you, then tack that on + $200 more to resell it). Theoretically, a market for used suppressors might also force manufacturers to bring down costs on new products in order to stay competitive. Nothing but good news if this act gets passed

  • RetNavet January 13, 2017, 5:29 am

    The next hundred and seven days will be telling, whether we enter an era of common sense or sink back into the morass of libtardism, cronyism, and the idiotic political (correctness) idiocy. Include in your prayers the wisdom for our political class to do the right thing(s)

  • Altoid January 13, 2017, 4:24 am

    Great idea. Next up should be short barreled rifles and shotguns, followed by full auto. If individual states want to restrict them (some already do), that’s their option.

    • Robert Morris January 13, 2017, 9:50 am

      It should not be their option. Laws restricting Class III restrictions are a violation of the 2nd Amendment and are therefor unconstitutional and illegal whether they are passed by the states or federal government. States do not have the right to pass laws that violate the Constitution..

      • Yober January 13, 2017, 12:19 pm

        Cali does it on a regular basis….

    • States Rights Check January 13, 2017, 1:27 pm

      The US Supreme Court has ruled and clarified that the states have the right to regulate firearms and their ownership so far as it does not explicitly deny the constitutional 5th amendment right to bear arms, generally, except for convicted felons and in the case of domestic violence.

  • DRAINO January 12, 2017, 9:52 am

    AHHH!!!!! I bask in the warm glow that is the correcting of all of the BS laws and regs that B.O. tied the hands of Americans with 🙂 Keep that sunshine a comin!!!!!

    AMERICANISM!!!! NOT Globalism!!!

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