Posts Tagged ‘American Suppressor Association’

ASA Announces Hearing Protection Act: A Bill To Remove Suppressors From The NFA

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

For too long we’ve seen legislation move closer and closer toward banning firearms.  It’s great to see the American Suppressor Association take the opposite tack and move the goal posts toward less regulation.  In particular, the classification of suppressors as NFA items is particularly shortsighted considering their value in protecting the hearing of gun owners and bystanders alike.  And let’s not forget our pets and working animals who may be exposed to shooting.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is pleased to announce the introduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) by Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05). This historic piece of legislation will remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA), replacing the antiquated federal transfer process with an instantaneous NICS background check. The HPA also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchase a suppressor after October 22, 2015.

“The American Suppressor Association believes that citizens should not have to pay a tax to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA. “The removal of suppressors from the National Firearms Act has been our ultimate goal since day one. For months, we have worked alongside Rep. Salmon’s office and the National Rifle Association to craft this legislation. Although we recognize that introducing this bill is the first step in what will be a lengthy process to change federal law, we look forward to working with Rep. Salmon and the NRA to advance and ultimately enact this common-sense legislation.”

Also known as silencers, suppressors are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Despite common Hollywood-based misconceptions, the laws of physics dictate that no suppressor will ever be able to render gunfire silent. Suppressors are simply mufflers for firearms, which function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to slowly cool in a controlled environment. On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 – 35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection, suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting lands.

Unfortunately, suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. The NFA regulates the transfer and possession of certain types of firearms and devices, including suppressors. Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same background check that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork. In stark contrast, many countries in Europe place no regulations on their purchase, possession, or use.

Rep. Salmon’s Hearing Protection Act will fix the flawed federal treatment of suppressors, making it easier for hunters and sportsmen to protect their hearing in the 41 states where private suppressor ownership is currently legal, and the 37 states where hunting with a suppressor is legal. 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.

Amendment To Block Executive Action ATF 41P Passes U.S. House

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Speaking of proposed rule changes by the Obama Administration, the American Suppressor Association has announced that Congress has taken matters into their own hands regarding the proposed 41P rule change which would change how the BATFE handles trust and corporate ownership of NFA items.

On June 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, H.R. 2578 by a margin of 242 – 183. H.R. 2579 included an American Suppressor Association-backed provision to prevent an expansion of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification requirement for certain transfers of suppressors and other NFA items. The full release as follows:

On June 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, H.R. 2578 by a 242 – 183 margin. Included in H.R. 2578 is an American Suppressor Association backed provision to prevent an expansion of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification requirement for certain transfers of suppressors and other National Firearms Act (NFA) items.

In 2013, the Obama Administration issued an executive action that seeks to amend the transfer of firearms and suppressors under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). Known as ATF 41P, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is still awaiting Final Action. The proposal includes an amendment to require a CLEO certification for all NFA transfers to non-licensees, including those conducted by a trust or legal entity. Under current law, only individuals who purchase NFA items are required to obtain a CLEO certification as part of the Federal process.

41P represents a curious reversal in the Administration’s own position. In 2011, the ATF recommended eliminating the CLEO certification altogether. In fact, according to their own proposal, they wanted to “eliminate the requirement for a certification signed by the CLEO.”


When the National Firearms Act of 1934 was signed into law, computerized background checks did not exist. At that time, the CLEO certification was the only way that individuals applying for a transfer of an NFA item could be vetted. Since 1934, technology has come full circle, making the subjective approval from local Law Enforcement no longer an enhancement to public safety.

According to the proposed amendments, “ATF conducts its own background checks of individuals applying to make and receive NFA firearms. In addition to transmitting fingerprints to the FBI for a criminal history check, ATF routinely queries the following databases and indexes:

  • National Crime Information Center
  • TECS (formerly named the Treasury Enforcement Communication System)
  • National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System
  • Interstate Identification Index
  • National Instant Criminal Background Check System”
  • Given the already extensive background checks currently in place, the expansion of CLEO certifications will not enhance public safety in any way. Instead, it will only serve to create hardships for collectors, manufacturers, and licensed dealers.

    If enacted, 41P would result in a de facto ban on NFA transfers in many jurisdictions, jeopardizing thousands of jobs supported by the manufacturing and sale of such items, as well as the liberties of millions of law abiding citizens. With suppressors accounting for the overwhelming majority of NFA transfers, fighting this politically motivated executive action has remained one of ASA’s top priorities since it was announced.

    The American Suppressor Association would like to thank Rep. John Carter (R-TX) for championing this amendment to protect the suppressor industry and the rights of the law abiding citizens of this country. We call on House and Senate negotiators to keep this language intact in the final bill.

    In addition, the NRA-ILA has released further information related to the current issue –