Texas Passes Bill to Remove NFA Suppressor Requirements for ‘Made in Texas’ Cans

The bill aims to exempt Texas suppressors from NFA regulations.

A bill passed by the Texas state legislature this weekend could remove federal licensing requirements for suppressors manufactured, purchased, and possessed within state borders, and provide a blueprint for other states to circumvent National Firearm Act restrictions.

In contrast to the state’s constitutional carry and Second Amendment sanctuary bills, this bill, HB 957, has received almost zero media attention. But it could be just as impactful, especially as red states around the country look for new ways to stick their collective finger in the eye of the gun-grabbing Biden administration.

The bill amends the state penal code to remove suppressors from items regulated within the state under the National Firearms Act. If passed and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, the bill would (theoretically) allow Texas residents to purchase suppressors over the counter without paying a $200 tax stamp or going through the NFA approval process.

“A firearm suppressor that is manufactured in this state and remains in this state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce,” the bill states.

The bill requires all suppressors to be stamped with the words “Made in Texas,” and prohibits owners from taking the items to any other state.

SEE ALSO: ‘Tools of Murder’ – Bill Introduced to Outlaw, ‘Buyback’ Suppressors

For a suppressor to be considered “manufactured” in Texas, the can must be made in Texas from “basic materials” and without the inclusion of any part “imported from another state other than a generic and insignificant part.”

“Basic materials” can be sourced from outside the state because, according to the bill, basic materials, including unmachined steel, are not firearm suppressors and therefore not subject to federal regulation.

“Insignificant parts” are defined as those items that have manufacturing or consumer product applications other than inclusion in a firearm suppressor, including springs, screws, nuts, and pins.

The bill also includes a provision to allow prospective suppressor manufacturers to seek a judgment from a federal district judge on the constitutionality of the law. A manufacturer notifies the Texas attorney general, and the AG seeks the declaratory judgment from the feds. In other words, even if Gov. Abbott signs the bill, Texas residents SHOULD NOT start manufacturing their own suppressors right away.

SEE ALSO: GOP Senators Work to End Federal Regulation of Firearm Sound Suppressors

The bill is premised on the idea that the U.S. Constitution only allows the federal government to regulate commerce “among the several states,” i.e., between states. If a suppressor is manufactured, sold, and possessed entirely within the state of Texas, the thinking goes, Congress can’t make a law regulating that item.

We won’t pretend to be constitutional scholars, but suffice it to say that Texas’ new suppressor bill sets up yet another showdown to determine the extent of state and federal power.

Gov. Abbott has not said whether he plans to sign the bill, and his press office has not returned a GunsAmerica request for comment.

HB 957 passed along party lines in the Senate (18-13) but picked up 13 Democratic votes in the House (95-51) without any Republican defections. The bill has 29 sponsors and co-sponsors in the House and three sponsors and co-sponsors in the Senate.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Mark June 19, 2021, 4:05 pm

    Since this Governor Abbot has signed this & 7-10 other pro 2A bills into law. We all know this law is pending court action but it’s mostly a middle finger to the gun grabbers in the illegitimate Biden administration. If it does hold up it won’t really effect how we can buy suppressors at gun stores because they are under control of the federal government & would still get into trouble but it will definitely have a huge effect on the homemade ones. You will see Texas “solvent trap” companies popping up everywhere which will be great because they tend to come from China now & are made of cheap materials that don’t hold up in a lot of cases. The law goes into effect on September 1st & it will likely start going through the courts soon after & it’s worth a shot.

  • Matt Kase May 29, 2021, 12:13 pm

    Texas is putting its own residents in jeopardy by doing this. This exact legislation was tried in Montana several years back and it didn’t end well for the residence who tried to take advantage of it. They’re sitting in federal prison now. Unless Texas is ready to get into a literal shooting war with the feds when they attempt to cross its border to enforce federal law, then it does its citizens no justice to give them this kind of false hope, and set them up for incarceration.

    • Matt Kase May 29, 2021, 12:14 pm

      *residents

    • Jake June 1, 2021, 10:31 am

      The Feds aren’t doing anything about a foreign invasion of thousands every day into Texas and surrounding states. Let the losers try to enforce their writ. Within six months there won’t be any enforcement outside of DC the way this commie clown car is going with Biden at the wheel.

    • kc (sire/your majesty) June 2, 2021, 2:50 pm

      That would be why there’s a provision for prospective manufacturers to seek a judgment on the constitutionality before starting manufacture. They would know in advance if it’s legal, instead of volunteering to be guinea pigs.

    • Larry June 6, 2021, 12:01 pm

      Matt Kase> What do you mean by they attempt to cross its border, as if feds do not exist within Texas.
      I don’t get it, just one example:
      FBI
      12515 Research Blvd
      Unit 7
      Austin, TX 78759
      United States

    • William June 25, 2021, 12:14 pm

      Matt- You speak light of the facts… Ever heard of federal drug laws? In case you have not, marijuana is still illegal to possess, distribute, etc. under federal law. Many states have passed laws saying it is now legal in that state. Same scenario, except this law has the constitution behind it. Federal law does not regulate trade within the state.
      If anyone has heard of federal raids of “dispensaries” please enlighten me. I have not. I have also not heard of anyone from the Montana law passing a few years back being put in prison. Certainly could have happened. Wasn’t Chipman working that area?

  • NeoBlackdog May 29, 2021, 9:53 am

    And that, boys and girls, is common sense firearms legislation.

  • Steven Gonzales May 29, 2021, 3:47 am

    GOD BLESS TEXAS!!!!!

  • Rich Zellich May 28, 2021, 9:41 pm

    We have a precedent for the “commerce clause” not applying to state-level actions. In 1995, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1990 “Gun Free School Zones” law as unconstitutional because the commerce clause could not be stretched that far. See https://www.annenbergclassroom.org/timeline_event/united-states-v-lopez/ for a citation to the case and a _very_ brief explanation.

    In the decision, the Court noted that – for whatever reason – Congress had not cited a commerce clause nexus, as they usually do in such laws. The Justice who wrote that went on to say that, even if they _had_ cited a nexus, the commerce clause could not be stretched that far and the law would _still_ be unconstitutional.

    So, what did Congress do? They immediately re-passed the exact same law, with the addition of a one-sentence commerce clause nexus statement. To date, nobody has taken the matter back up to SCOTUS to re-overturn it, so the replacement law still stands – Congress just stuck their collective thumb in the Supreme Court’s eye and got away with it in the absence of another challenge coming up through the lower courts.

    But the precedent still stands, so another challenge, and Texas’ suppressor law, should be able to cite the Lopez case as controlling law.

    It was an amazing trip up through the courts, because Lopez was apparently a total scumbag, and nobody really wanted to see him get off scott-free. The constitutionality of the law took precedence over the quality of the criminal case against Lopez, but the Justices were probably holding their noses when they issued their decision.

  • Don May 28, 2021, 8:54 pm

    Other states tried this with guns. It didn’t work.

  • Manny Sanchez May 28, 2021, 5:23 pm

    Way too go Cowboys Country…keep up the Good Work..
    Respectfully
    Manny

  • Don Evans May 28, 2021, 2:45 pm

    I was provided hearing aids by the VA to a loss of hearing I experienced from service in Vietnam. Having the ability to purchase a suppressor without the tax stamp would be a GREAT idea. And remember, IT IS NOT a silencer like the crazy media would call it!!

  • Johnny May 28, 2021, 12:39 pm

    States ignore federal cannabis laws. They even tax the product. Why can’t we do this with NFA items?

    • A-Aron June 18, 2021, 11:52 am

      Because cannabis cannot overthrow tyranny.

  • Andrew May 28, 2021, 10:34 am

    Kansas tried that, and it went poorly for a couple people who thought the state law meant something.
    Texas’ new law will probably go just as well for people who try and do anything.
    (Yes, I know whose article this is. Read it anyways.)

    https://www.thetrace.org/2016/12/kansas-second-amendment-protection-act-silencers/

  • William May 28, 2021, 9:54 am

    We’re not in Kansas anymore. Get past Kansas’ failure and look forward to a Texas victory!

  • Joe Bates May 28, 2021, 9:39 am

    If this is about taxes and federal control, why haves blue states been able to give the feds the middle finger when it come to illegal aliens. That’s trafficking in drugs and humans. The country is headed for a breakup and I say it can’t come to soon for me. There is no equal justice under the law!

  • Chris Bowen May 28, 2021, 9:26 am

    If California and several other states can openly ignore federal law by allowing pot shops, I see no problem with this. We can’t have selective enforcement by the feds.

    • Penrod May 28, 2021, 6:18 pm

      Oh, but we certainly can -and will- have selective enforcement by the feds. The feds hold the US Constitution in utter contempt, and that contempt is bipartisan.

      Look up Wickard vs Filburn on Wikipedia. The FDR administration asserted that the authority to regulate interstate commerce magically conferred the right to regulate wheat which never entered commerce at all because growing wheat for on-farm consumption by cattle affected the interstate market for wheat. The USSC upheld that.

      The Bush II administration solidified that by supporting Gonzales vs Raich, claiming the authority to ban medical marijuana which never entered interstate commerce or any commerce at all, because it could theoretically affect the price of marijuana which moved illegally in interstate commerce.

      The Supreme Court upheld that position. So much for the USSC submitting to the Constitution.

      The feds have no reason to accept the Constitution means what it says.

  • MAS May 28, 2021, 8:56 am

    There is NO government with the legal authority to infringe upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

    • Penrod May 28, 2021, 6:19 pm

      True, but ‘legal authority’ has meant nothing since Wickard vs Filburn.

      They have the power, and that is what counts on the ground.

  • Bill May 28, 2021, 8:56 am

    Since private citizens have been making their own firearms since before the American revolution, can they not also make suppressors for private use w/o penalty by not selling them in interstate commerce?

  • kb31416 May 28, 2021, 8:46 am

    Yes, other states have tried similar tactics with poor results.
    What is interesting, though, is that many states have “legalized” weed, which remains illegal under Federal law, but they are getting away with it. Federal law is supposed to supersede state law, which is what will be said about the Texas suppressor law, but which is being overtly ignored about cannabis laws.
    The sad thing is that the rule of law is diminished, to the point of being extinguished, when/if people get to decide which laws that they think should be optional, and then act accordingly. We are devolving into a lawless arbitrary dictatorship, which will not end well.

  • SD DENTON May 28, 2021, 7:53 am

    Whether it passes or not, thanks Texas for standing up. I just wish other states would do the same. I live in Virginia which used to be a red state, but after the Northern Virginia Beltway a-holes moved in, we turned bright blue. It sucks now with little hope of improving. I think DeSantis/Abbot (or visa versa) would make an excellent 2024 ticket.

    • Altoids May 28, 2021, 10:43 am

      Virginia’s lower counties need to break away from the state and join West Virginia.
      Let the northern part of the state rot

  • shrugger May 28, 2021, 7:43 am

    Don’t stop there. How about every single item on the unconstitutional NFA list.

  • cadiyn May 28, 2021, 7:10 am

    “”Kansas tried this already – didn’t work.”” So!! I hope the states never quit trying, that is why the Repubs often fail, they give up!

    • Andrew May 28, 2021, 10:43 am

      Kansas law failed because they left it as a symbol.
      Lawmakers said “er…we didn’t think people would actually do this”.

      So unless Texas law specifically includes a mandate to “arrest feds sent to enforce the suppressor part of NFA” then it’ll go the exact same way.
      (The Kansas law, if you’ll note, “declared that federal law enforcement agents would be guilty of a felony if they attempted to enforce federal laws regarding these products within state borders.” Well, that did a lot of good it seems and there’s at least two folk in prison who thought Kansas had their back.)

      https://www.thetrace.org/2016/12/kansas-second-amendment-protection-act-silencers/

  • Brickhouse May 28, 2021, 7:09 am

    Keep the emails to our state reps pouring in Texans. Governor election coming up with other seats in the state house.

  • Robert Peterson May 28, 2021, 6:21 am

    Until sanity returns to congress, which may not be in the near future, (or ever), this is the model strategy that that will hold the federal gov’t at bay. The federal gov’t has been encroaching on states rights for about a century. The states are starting to wake up. Texas is in the forefront, Florida has not been as assertive as I would like but we’ll see. Western states have been battling the feds over land use/water rights for decades. The rest of the country has pretty much ignored their plight. Now that the feds are starting to really consolidate their power, the states are starting to wake up. It’s going to get interesting.

  • Roger J May 28, 2021, 5:33 am

    Automatic firearms next?

    • Give Me Freedom May 28, 2021, 8:56 am

      Doubtful. Automatic firearms have been demonized to the common people so most people believe there should be heavy restrictions on them.

      I believe that a magazine fed long gun or Uzi type firearm should be available with minimal restrictions to the common people. It is wrong that the common people cannot own 1987 or newer automatic weapons.

      I am also for removing restrictions on 20 millimeter firearms and steel core ammunition.

  • survivor50 May 28, 2021, 4:45 am

    Sometimes you have to wave “The Fickle Finger Of Fate” in their face, and say “OH HELL YES WE CAN ” …

    “COME ON MAN” … they let a bunch of maggot infested slackers take over PORTLAND and burn it down …
    What are ” THEY ” going to do with the WHOLE STATE of ” TEXAS !!! ”

    Thanks Gov. ABBOTT !!!

  • James Gudobba May 28, 2021, 4:27 am

    WAY TOO GO TEXAS!!! NOW LET’S SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTRY FALL IN. ….JIM

  • Scott Summers May 28, 2021, 4:22 am

    Unfortunately the NFA is not a regulatory scheme on it’s face, it’s a tax. The registration and transfer paperwork is merely there to facilitate collecting the tax. We know otherwise, but SCOTUS turns a blind eye to such things when it comes to taxes. Congress has almost unlimited taxation powers, unrelated to their interstate commerce regulatory powers.

    As for Interstate commerce, a WWII era SCOTUS decision basically eliminated any restrictions on that. A farmer was growing wheat to feed his animals and the Feds had instituted a limit on how much one could grow to keep prices and supply steady as part of the “New Deal”. The farmer had exceeded his limits, and the feds said he owed a penalty.

    He sued on the basis of the wheat was never in interstate commerce, and indeed had never been in any commerce as it was grown and consumed on his own farm. SCOTUS came up with the idea that since growing his own wheat removed the normal purchases of grain he would have made otherwise, his activity AFFECTED interstate commerce and thus was subject to regulation. Texans making and buying their own suppressors obviously reduces the amount of ones they would have bought from out of state…

    • Penrod May 28, 2021, 6:25 pm

      Exactly right. Anyone interested should check wikipedia re: Wickard v Filburn, and the Bush II era Gonzales vs Raich which built on Wickard.

  • Dr Motown May 25, 2021, 3:50 pm

    Let’s hope that it holds up in the courts

  • Native Kansan May 25, 2021, 8:52 am

    Kansas tried this already – didn’t work. 😞

    • shrugger May 28, 2021, 7:46 am

      American until Texas secedes.

      • IDAHOAN May 28, 2021, 10:17 am

        This is in Idaho’s constitution. Texas has way too many regulations. Not sure why people think Texas is free? People, wake up! Don’t abide by unconstitutional laws. Resist!

  • RSConsulting May 25, 2021, 8:34 am

    ““A firearm suppressor that is manufactured in this state and remains in this state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce,” the bill states.”

    Most people fail to realize this. EVERY LAW that congress passes, MUST, SOMEWHERE – have the words “In Interstate Commerce” in it. Even if it is TOTALLY UNRELATED TO COMMERCE. It is the ONLY PART of The Constitution that allows congress to REGULATE ANYTHING. It (the Interstate Commerce Clause) has been abused and used to run roughshod over the RIGHTS OF THE STATES AND WE THE PEOPLE.

    Red states have been making BRILLIANT MOVES as of late – to use the 10th Amendment to TAKE BACK THE POWERS that were not ACTUALLY DELEGATED to the Federal Government.

    While I love what Florida has done for it’s citizens, and DeSantis is turning out to be a ROCK STAR – Texas always looks MORE AND MORE ATTRACTIVE…

    Rick

    • Jay Smith May 28, 2021, 10:35 pm

      @ RSConsulitng >> Don’t get too froggy , a crapload of Californians thought TX was attractive before you . They moved here and are now Voting Dem. IE > San Antonio , Houston, Dallas , Austin are now Dem. ( Gee , that’s the 4 biggest Cities IN Teaxs ) . You know what that means : based on the Cali voter curve over the last 5 Presidential Elections ( that TX is following to the T ) Next Election Dems MIGHT lose TX by 1% or Win it …
      Once TX goes Blue , Dems win ALL elections for President —- FOREVER ……………..

  • Daddy Hawk May 24, 2021, 9:19 pm

    I can’t track it down right now, but didnt another state, maybe Kansas or Nebraska, try that a while back with not so great results.

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