Read any good bills lately? Probably not, as reading a congressional bill is about as exciting as reading a credit card bill—and nearly as painful.
But there is one bill—H.R.367: The Hearing Protection Act of 2017—that most gun owners should be familiar with, particularly those who wish to own a sound suppressor. This bill, introduced October 22 of 2015, was written to finally de-vilify the completely misunderstood suppressor or “silencer” by removing it from the scope of the National Firearms Act (NFA), which has regulated the sale and purchase of suppressors for over 80 years.
In a nutshell, H.R.367 simplifies the process and reduces the time and cost of purchasing a suppressor by eliminating the required $200 federal tax stamp, doing away with the six- to twelve-month waiting period, and saying bye-bye to other red-tape procedures such as submitting fingerprint cards and passport photos and getting law enforcement signatures in states where suppressor ownership is legal. It basically takes suppressors off of the NFA list and treats their purchase just like a legal firearm purchase, requiring only an NICS background check and the completion of BATFE Form 4473. Which means, depending on the state in which you live, you could walk into a gun store, fill out some paperwork, pass your background check, and walk out with your suppressor that same day—with $200 that would’ve otherwise gone to Uncle Sam still in your pocket!
WHY THIS BILL MAKES SENSE
Aside from simplifying the process, the HPA also does something that should’ve been done long ago: It helps legitimize sound suppressors! Thanks to movies and television, most “non-gun” folks out there are completely misinformed as to the real role of suppressors, thinking they’re deadly tools used strictly by assassins and hit men to take out their unsuspecting victims with only the faintest whisper from a weapon’s muzzle. But that’s a total fantasy and about as realistic as those same hit men placing a pillow over the muzzle, which television and movies like to portray as well.
The truth is that suppressing a firearm has many benefits— for both shooters and society as a whole. They include but are not limited to:
- Suppressors protect against hearing loss: Just as the name of the bill suggests, a suppressor helps protect a shooter’s hearing—and the hearing of those around him/her—by reducing the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35dB, roughly the same as earplugs or muffs. By suppressing a weapon at the range or while hunting, shooters can help prevent hearing loss and tinnitus and maintain better situational awareness than by wearing earplugs.
- Suppressors reduce noise complaints: Use of suppressors cuts down on complaints of gunshot noise by residents who live near firing ranges or hunting areas, which is a growing problem as rural areas become more and more urban.
- Suppressors help increase accuracy: One reason many shooters miss what they’re aiming for is because they tend to flinch when they pull the trigger, anticipating a loud gunshot noise and a lot of recoil. Well, a suppressor not only reduces the sound, it also lessens a weapon’s recoil. Additionally, because it’s essentially a barrel extension, a suppressor typically increases a bullet’s velocity.
NO REAL DOWNSIDE
With this bill proposing a procedure that requires less money, less red tape, less time, and supporting a product that provides actual benefits to shooters and those in proximity to shooters, what’s the downside? None…other than a loss of revenue and control to the federal government.
But this bill is by no means a “done deal.” In order for it to pass, it requires your support by letting your representatives know that you support it. So reach out to them or CLICK HERE to sign Daniel Defense’s form letting legislators know they should pass this bill into law ASAP!
DON’T LET POLITICS POSTPONE YOUR SUPPRESSOR PURCHASE
It’s worth mentioning that, if you’re in the market for a suppressor, there’s no real upside in waiting for this legislation to pass. Should it pass, H.R.367 contains a provision providing for the refund of the $200 federal tax stamp for any suppressor purchase started on or after October 22, 2015, when the bill was introduced. So, worst-case scenario, should the legislation fail to pass (Because we didn’t let our legislators know about our strong support? CLICK HERE to let them know!) and the laws stay as they currently are, you will at least already be in the system and ahead of those who waited for the legislation to pass.