The left loves to downplay their true intentions surrounding the Second Amendment. “No, we’re not looking to ban guns,” they assert. “We just don’t want the mentally ill to have them… and by the way, we get to decide who is and who is not mentally ill.”
They continually clamor for “commonsense” gun control legislation. By using this phrase, they hope that those who oppose such legislation will be labeled an opponent of “commonsense” and that the discussion will glide right over any concerns of constitutional permissibility.
Now, the time has come to see if Democrats are truly committed to advancing “commonsense” gun legislation…
Patriot and Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon has announced a new piece of legislation: the Hearing Protection Act. This act would help make silencers (also called “suppressors”) more-accessible to Americans by removing them from the National Firearms Act (NFA).
Shooters everywhere know the ring that comes with a day at the range. Even with hearing protection, firearms can have an effect on one’s hearing and silencers, though they do not make firearms “silent,” help tremendously in the quieting of gun blasts and it is long past time to remove them from the list.
As it stands now, a citizen equipped with the right to bear arms must undergo a rigorous gauntlet to enjoy short-barreled rifles, silencer, full-auto weapons and short-barreled shotguns. To obtain such items comes at a hefty cost, a lengthy wait and an intolerable intrusion by the federal government.
According to a release by the American Suppressor Association, Rep. Salmon’s legislation may help countless Americans to quiet their firearms.
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.
The NRA is supporting the legislation. Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, hailed the effort:
“Suppressors significantly reduce the chance of hearing loss for anyone who enjoys the shooting sports. On behalf of the NRA and our 5 million members, I want to thank Rep. Salmon for his leadership on this important bill.”
“Suppressors benefit all involved in hunting and the shooting sports. It’s time to bring the law in line with modern technology,” said Cox.
It is far overdue. Let’s just hope that Democrats are willing to practice what they preach and are willing to support this legislation that is truly a commonsense piece of legislation.