NRA, NSSF Cheer Changes to Suppressor Export Rules while Everytown and Moms Demand Pout

NRA, NSSF Cheer Changes to Suppressor Export Rules while Everytown and Moms Demand Pout
The Trump Administration is changing suppressor export laws. Could this help the U.S. market, too? (Photo: Odin Works)

The Trump administration just reversed an 18-year-old policy that restricted suppressor exports in a move that was praised by gun rights and shooting sports organizations alike. Predictably, these changes also upset gun-control groups.

The 2002 rule largely prohibited the sale and export of firearm suppressors to official users such as governments and militaries. This blocked the sale of suppressors to foreign commercial markets limiting the ability for suppressor manufacturers to earn and be competitive outside of the U.S.

Outside of the United States suppressors, silencers, and moderators are often unrestricted. They’re common safety devices used widely in hunting and the shooting sports. In some places not using suppressors is even considered rude.

While this may at first seem like a benefit to suppressor manufacturers, this will likely improve the American suppressor market as well. With a larger market to cater to, suppressor manufacturers can sell larger volumes while lowering the per-unit costs to make and speed up product improvement cycles.

There are still some restrictions on the foreign sale of suppressors, but they will be controlled under the same set of laws that guide the sale of guns, firearm components and accessories to foreign users. They will be considered to be U.S. Military Equipment for the purpose of foreign sale.

“The old policy completely excluded American suppressor manufacturers from competing in foreign markets where firearm suppressors are perfectly legal,” said the NRA in a statement. “It was also based on the misguided idea that suppressors completely silence firearms and that similar suppressor technology isn’t already available in the rest of the world.”

“This is a commonsense decision to allow U.S. manufacturers to compete in overseas markets where suppressors are not only legal, but are often required for recreational shooting and hunting,” said NSSF Vice President Lawrence G. Keane. “This is another win for the firearm and suppressor manufacturers by the Trump Administration.”

“Earlier this year, the Trump Administration finalized the U.S. Munitions List to Commerce Control List Transition, streamlining the export process for firearms,” said Keane. “That was an export reform years in the making and only held up for domestic political reasons. U.S. manufacturers, domestic production and U.S. workers will all benefit from this practical decision.”

See Also: Odin Works Modular Navigator .22-Caliber Suppressor Now Available

The gun control industry is less pleased. “Let”s make it clear: with this decision, Donald Trump is endangering American troops in order to enrich the gun lobby in return for their help getting him elected,” said Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt.

“It is clearer than ever that Donald Trump cares more about protecting gun lobby profits than American lives, including the lives of the brave men and women who protect our country,” said Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts. “This November, we must elect a president who will take on the gun lobby, not take orders from it.”

What’s actually clear here is that these groups are opposed to the manufacture and sale of safety devices.

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  • Bryan July 17, 2020, 4:04 pm

    The rest of the civilized world understands that these are safety devices used to protect people enjoying shooting sports…we get to plug things in our ears whilst annoying others within range…yeah…brilliant…

  • sfvshooter July 17, 2020, 2:32 pm

    Have we seen any enemy fighters with suppressors on their weapons? I’m not in the military so I can’t say for certain, but I don’t think I’ve heard of any. I hope that doesn’t change with this new law. It would be tragic for U.S. soldiers to be killed in this manner.

    • Dr Motown July 17, 2020, 8:59 pm

      They could certainly get Russian, Chinese or European suppressors now….we’re not the only nation with suppressor technology and production. You can buy them OTC at many places around the world

  • jim whalen July 17, 2020, 11:38 am


  • Kane July 17, 2020, 11:32 am

    As I recall, Bush 41 renounced his honorary NRA membership after Lapierre called the Feds at Ruby Ridge something like ‘jack booted thugs” for targeting Weaver and his family. Bush 43 said in a debate that he would sign a bill to extend the ‘assault style weapons ban’ if congress presented this legislation.

    I have never been able to confirm the accusations against Lapierre and certainly consider him an unfortunate side issue in the fight to preserve and protecting the 2A. Trump is also flawed political choice but to many a necessary compromise. Consider the alternatives especially in light of the judicial appointments that BHO has saddled the US with.

    • Kane July 18, 2020, 6:30 pm

      This was intended to be in response to “Jack” but somehow ended up as an independent post.

  • Wayne July 17, 2020, 7:24 am

    I don’t see how these would endanger our troops being they are available already in many foreign countries . You just walk in and buy them .

    • John July 17, 2020, 8:13 am

      Exactly. That is just more lefty, anti-gun, illogical, nonsense. Everyone should just ignore anything they say.
      Sadly, the non-thinkers will still listen to them anyway.

  • Leighton Cavendish July 17, 2020, 7:00 am

    Imagine designing an ICE car or motorcycle today without a muffler. Think that would go over?
    That’s all these really are.
    As stated in the article…in many other countries these are an over the counter immediate purchase.
    Here in the USA? Up to a year or more wait..and a $200 tax stamp on top of that.
    Ridiculous when an electronic fingerprint check takes minutes and photos are instant.

  • R D July 17, 2020, 3:25 am

    Where is the NRA when it comes to the 2A rights of American Citizens? Buhler, Buhler, Buhler? Oh that’s right they don’t care about the rights of the average person. The NRA is only there to enrich themselves. Nuff said.

    • Patriot July 17, 2020, 9:58 am

      “Divide and Conquer”. If we keep all of us together on the same page, there is strength in numbers. We don’t need division right now. “They” are growing stronger every day because “They” are uniting as we fight amongst ourselves…….

  • Jack July 14, 2020, 3:49 pm

    How ’bout making them easier for US citizens to own! Don’t see this as a win NRA, although the “industry” will probably give LaPierre the rat a nice payday so he can buy more expensive clothing.
    Hey Trump, how ’bout doing something pro 2A for your base instead of screwing us like Bush 41 who also became a one termer?

    • Tim July 17, 2020, 7:41 am

      Jack, I couldn’t have said it better. As usual Republicans have wasted away another chance to get some meaningful pro gun legislation passed, national carry, hearing protection, etc, etc.

      • Link Lackluster July 17, 2020, 8:58 am

        If you think some kind of national carry legislation would be passed by a Pelosi-led congress, you really do not understand the world around you and must wake up every day wondering where that bright light comes from. I cannot wait to see what wonderful democrat-crushing forces will be put in motion with a Trump second term. To compare Bush 41 with Trump in any way is a joke. Bush 41 was a RINO elitist that was a Washington INSIDER to the max. Trump is the closest thing to a total Washington OUTSIDER we might have seen in the last 75 years! If we get some idiot democrat in the White House in November, you better start burying your stash, because the Dems are coming after them right after they eradicate our Second Amendment. Wake up, dumbo.

        • Kalashikov Dude July 17, 2020, 10:16 am

          Trump actually derailed legislative efforts to ease restrictions and make this kind of hearing protection easier for Americans to own. He said four simple words which basically ended the possibility. “I don’t like em.” You’re nuts if you think I won’t remember that along with plenty more of Trumps backstabbing treachery this November. He will never be getting my support or vote again. The main difference between this tyrant and Hillary is simple. Folks like you never would’ve let her get away with the stuff that’s routinely ignored or excused in the name of winning the next election. Screw that. And screw Trump.

          • DHernandez July 17, 2020, 4:32 pm

            So you are going with Biden? Who has already shown the version of the gun control bill he wants that makes then AWB look like a cream puff. You may remember right when the hearing protection act was coming up, the Las Vegas mass shooting happened. Bad timing for any pro-gun laws. Get him a second term and win the house and senate. That’s the only way things change. If Biden is in and they get the senate you can damn near kiss your guns, as you know them today, gone.

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