New ‘Hearing Protection Act’ Doesn’t go Far Enough
Russ Chastain 10.23.15
Recent news in the gun world is all about the Hearing Protection Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona), which would remove heavy NFA taxes related to sound suppressors and relax rules on ownership transfer.
Sadly, the proposed legislation would treat suppressors as firearms, which is utterly ridiculous. To buy a new “silencer,” you’d have to pass (and pay for) the same NICS check that’s required when you buy a new gun. And all localities that currently have oppressive restrictions on private transfers of gun ownership would apply those same rules to suppressor transfers.
Kinda dumb, if you ask me.
Would it be a step in the right direction? Absolutely. As I’ve written here before, deregulating suppressors only makes sense. I believe they should be treated as common hardware items and viewed as a boon to hunters, shooters, and their neighbors.
Another salient question: In places where it’s illegal or difficult to travel with a firearm from one state or locality to another, would those bad laws also apply to suppressors? Probably.
Although it falls short in my opinion, the Hearing Protection Act would at least extend the current trend towards acceptance and normalization of sound suppressors. The two states in which I most often hunt have already legalized the use of suppressors for hunting. It just makes sense.
But supressors are not guns and shouldn’t be treated as such. Therefore, I’d love to see the proposed bill revised before it’s voted on.