The National Rifle Association is shifting into high gear to shoot down federal and state barriers to buying gun suppressors, believing that the inauguration of President Trump will help to clear the way to easy and low-cost purchases of silencers.
“It’s going to be a new day, it’s a new opportunity to hit the reset button,” said Chris Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist and the executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “This is a fight we can win,” he added during last week’s annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
The Hearing Protection Act of 2017 is the vehicle for ending the federal $200 tax and waiting period for purchasing silencers, and it has won the full support of the NRA.
Critics have mocked the name as simplistic, but Trump’s son, Donald Jr., recently said the issue is all about hearing health. “It’s about safety, it’s about hearing protection, it’s a health issue,” he said. “There’s nothing bad about it at all.”
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He added that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would shut down gun ranges because of noise if the Labor Department agency had its way.
While countries in Europe approve the use of suppressors at ranges and while hunting, the gun accessory has been demonized in America, especially in movies where they are often shown as the tools of assassins.
To help lawmakers pushing the Hearing Protection Act, Cox and others at the NRA have stepped up their campaign against that image while making the case that it’s an extension of gun safety.
“Criminals don’t use them other than in movies,” Cox said. He said Hollywood and the media are “intentionally trying to mislead the American people, scare ’em.”
The NRA’s Internet star, lawyer and gun rights activist Colion Noir, is also fighting the issue on his NRATV show.
“I ought to be able to protect my life without going deaf in the process,” he said. “Complacency and apathy will always be the catalyst to the degradation our rights,” he said. “You know who decides what normal is? The people with the loudest voice. So if you want to protect your freedom, take the suppressor off your mouth and put it on your gun.”
FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen the opportunity to better protect their ears and hearing.
“Many gun owners and sportsmen suffer severe hearing loss after years of shooting, and yet the tool necessary to reduce such loss is onerously regulated and taxed. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act would allow people easier access to suppressors, which would help them to better protect their hearing.”
The Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367, would remove suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act, replacing the federal transfer process with a National Instant Criminal Background Check. The bill would reduce the cost of purchasing a suppressor by removing the $200 transfer tax.
Suppressors are often mischaracterized in Hollywood. They do not “silence” the sound of a firearm. Instead, they act as mufflers and can reduce the noise of a gunshot to hearing safe levels. Not only do suppressors reduce hearing damage for the shooter, they reduce the noise of ranges located near residential areas.
H.R. 367 would make it easier for gun owners and sportsmen to purchase suppressors in the 42 states where they are currently legal. Purchasers would have to pass a background check to buy them, and prohibited people would be denied.
NRA is proud to have partnered with ASA on this important legislation.
“Gun owners and sportsmen should be able to practice their sport with the tools necessary to do so safely. This bill makes it easier for them to do that,” concluded Cox.