What’s going on with the Hearing Protection Act???
Good question. Well, we got news this week from the American Suppressor Association that key components of the HPA were being rolled into a larger piece of legislation known as the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act.
The SHARE Act was scheduled to go before the Federal Lands Subcommittee Wednesday — that was until there was a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice that left five people wounded, including Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), the Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.
House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee spokeswoman Molly Block told CNN that the hearing on the SHARE Act will be canceled until further notice.
That stinks, but is understandable.
However, moving forward, when the SHARE Act does go before the subcommittee, it will include under Title XVII, all of the following provisions:
- Sec. 1702: Removing suppressors from the National Firearms Act, subjecting them to the same instant NICS background check as long guns, and issuing a refundable tax credit to anyone who has purchased a suppressor since the HPA’s original date of introduction
- Sec. 1703: Ensuring that suppressors will remain legal in all 42 states where they are currently legal, after suppressors are removed from the National Firearms Act
- Sec. 1704: Preempting states from levying taxes or registration requirements on suppressors. However, this will not make suppressors legal in any state where state law currently prohibits them.
- Sec. 1705: Granting the ATF 365 days to destroy all suppressor related records from the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR)
- Sec. 1706: Developing a “keystone part” definition, and requiring that such keystone part is serialized on every suppressor. This will ensure that individual suppressor parts, like pistons and endcaps, will not require serialization.
- Sec. 1707: Imposing a 10% Pittman-Robertson excise tax on the manufacture of each new suppressor, a tax that is currently imposed on all Title I firearms
Aside from the excise tax, which let’s face it, there’s no chance that goes away, those are all great moves!
“The inclusion of the Hearing Protection Act in the sportsmen’s package highlights the commitment of the Sportsmen’s Caucus to make the hunting and recreational shooting experiences safer and more enjoyable for all,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association.
“We know for a fact that exposure to noise from recreational firearms is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, which is why the CDC, NIOSH, and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) have all recommended using suppressors as a tool to mitigate the danger,” continued Williams. “We look forward to working with the Sportsmen’s Caucus to make this legislation a reality.”
We’ll have to keep a close eye on the progress of the SHARE Act, which in addition to having the HPA language has provisions related to guns, hunting, shooting sports and the outdoors. No doubt it would be a big win for 2A supporters to have it clear Congress and land on president Trump’s desk. But there’s a long, long road ahead and many adversaries standing in its way.
“As Americans mark one year since the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando – the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history – the gun lobby is trying to sneak a dangerous provision through Congress to make it easier for dangerous people to buy silencers,” said a statement from Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Gun Sense in America. “This provision would profit gun manufacturers while making law enforcement’s job more difficult and potentially making mass shootings even more deadly.”
See what I mean? Keep your fingers crossed.