WASHINGTON, D.C. — The NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, proudly welcomes U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) reintroduction of the Hearing Protection Act. The legislation, S. 401, is co-sponsored by 24 additional senators, all who endorse the legislation that would provide greater access to the firearm safety devices by regulating them in the same manner as a firearm.
“This no-nonsense legislation by Senator Crapo would remove unnecessary and onerous regulations for an accessory that is nothing more than a muffler for a gun,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Suppressors are safety tools that reduce the sound of gunfire to a level that won’t cause instant and permanent hearing loss, enables more accurate marksmanship and allows shooting ranges to be better neighbors. The Hearing Protection Act would reduce unnecessary barriers for this accessory that is currently regulated the same way as automatic firearms. Suppressors were originally listed under the National Firearms Act over poaching concerns during the Great Depression, but those fears proved to be unfounded. Suppressors don’t completely silence a firearm, only reduce the report from a level equal to a jet taking off to one similar to that of a jackhammer. NSSF is grateful to Senator Crapo for his leadership to remove unneeded barriers to owning a safety device that is designed to make recreational shooting safer.”
The Hearing Protection Act, which was introduced by Sen. Crapo in previous Congresses, would reclassify suppressors to regulate them like traditional firearms by removing them from the 1934 National Firearms Act. That would cease the overly burdensome federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification, making the purchase and transfer process for suppressors equal to the process for a rifle or shotgun. The legislation would also tax suppressors under the Pittman-Robertson Act instead of the National Firearms Act, putting more funding into state wildlife conservation agencies.
The Hearing Protection Act would not change any laws in states that already prevent suppressor use or ownership, nor does it eliminate background check requirements. Suppressors are legal to own in 42 states and 41 states allow them for hunting. Similar legislation, H.R. 152, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).