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Hearing Protection Act Language Incorporates Into Comprehensive Sportsmens Package

This is some great news regarding the future of removing suppressors from the National Firearms Act. Most of us have heard of the Hearing Protection Act, a bill championed by the American Suppressor Association which seems to have recently lost steam. But, they’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make the language even more effective and to package it into new legislation with more sponsors and additional enhancements for outdoorsmen amd firearms owners.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a hearing for the morning of June 14, in which the Federal Lands Subcommittee will hear a discussion draft of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. The SHARE Act, which is being championed in a bipartisan manner by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chairs Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Representative Gene Green (D-TX), is a comprehensive package that covers a wide range of hunting, fishing, and outdoor related issues. Included in the legislation is Title XVII, a strengthened version of the Hearing Protection Act.

Since the re-introduction of the Hearing Protection Act by Rep. Duncan and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) in January (H.R. 367, S. 59) the American Suppressor Association (ASA) has met with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on multiple occasions to discuss technical amendments to the language. As a result, we were able to create several technical amendments that were incorporated into the current draft of the SHARE Act. These include:

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

“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. We look forward to working with the Sportsmen’s Caucus to make this legislation a reality.”

Suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. Currently, prospective buyers must live in one of the 42 states where they are legal, must send in an application including fingerprints and passport photos to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax, and wait for an indeterminate amount of time for the ATF to process the application. As of June, 2017, wait times are in excess of 10 months. In stark contrast, many countries in Europe place no regulations on their purchase, possession, or use. This legislation will remove suppressors from the onerous requirements of the NFA, and instead require purchasers to pass an instant NICS check, the same background check that is used during the sale of long guns. In doing so, law-abiding citizens will remain free to purchase suppressors, while prohibited persons will continue to be barred from purchasing or possessing these accessories.

To voice your support for the Hearing Protection Act, visit www.HearingProtectionAct.com.

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12 Responses to “Hearing Protection Act Language Incorporates Into Comprehensive Sportsmens Package”

  1. P.J. says:

    Good news I suppose, but I’m losing faith that this will go through. The uncertainty can’t be good for the suppressor market. I know I’ve been waiting to see what happens.

    • SSD says:

      I think it will fundamentally change the firearms industry. But you’re right, it’s going to kill the suppressor industry as we know it. They’ll be a few boutique makers left but everybody and their brother is going to make them, including every current firearm manufacturer. The bottom will drop out of the market just as soon as the initial demand is met.

      • P.J. says:

        Got to be hurting sales right now with people waiting to buy. But I think the anticipation is what’s pushing some established players to go ahead and start up production to gobble up early market share. Daniel Defense most recently, though Ruger also springs to mind since they’re well placed to be THE integrally suppressed rimfire manufacturer. Biggest winner short term I think is gonna be the guys selling the quasi-legal “solvent traps,” provided suppressors do become straight title 1 items.

      • PTMcCain says:

        Great news for the consumer though.

  2. Allon says:

    I don’t understand why they include the refund of tax stamps recently applied or issued. It seems like a potential roadblock that could lead to a cash strapped agency opposing this, and brings very limited benefit. I would happily write off all of my money currently in NFA jail if it meant getting some version of this passed and my suppressors and sbrs in my hands faster.

    • SSD says:

      When you send your $200 to the ATF, they don’t get it. It goes into the General fund just like everything else you send to the Feds.

    • Airborne_fister says:

      I agree just say hey it’s a “tax write off” meaning since you paid it to the Feds it counts towards your taxes. And if you get a refund then you get it back. If not the it deducts from your over all payment. Be easy to track. Unless it doesn’t work with the 365 must destroy all paperwork. I think that would be best. Also, I think it’s in there so the .gov guys can say well we like everything about this but we are going to keep the $200. That way they feel like the .gov people won. Who knows.

  3. RB6S says:

    Interesting.

  4. Steak TarTar says:

    “Granting the ATF 365 days to destroy all suppressor related records from the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR)”

    Does that include fingerprints?

  5. Marcus says:

    I would imagine if this becomes law it will prompt a legal challenge in those states outside of the 42. It really depends on the final content and how each state law related to a suppressor ban is written, especially with respect to the NFA.

  6. Alpha2 says:

    Still won’t be able to purchase them in Communist California, Im still waiting for steak knives to be banned here. F’n joke.