Hearing Protection Act: Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting on Trump to Deliver
Jon Stokes 09.11.17
I guess any movement is better than no movement, but there’s no evidence that any of this stuff is getting closer to passing. In fact, if the industry scuttlebutt at a recent outdoor writer event I went to is any indication, it’s just not gonna happen.
I heard more than one person complain that Trump hasn’t really delivered anything in the way of gun rights. Now, I don’t think this is actually true, but it is unarguably correct if you ignore the SCOTUS and various federal court appointments that he has made. Sure, these court appointments will be a huge, durable part of this administration’s gun rights legacy, but shooters of all stripes are still looking to congress for actual changes in our gun laws and for forward motion on the important issues that the SHARE Act mentioned above addresses.
Let’s get real, though: this admin hasn’t been able to move any of its signature issues forward in the legislature, and I’ve heard more than one gun industry insider say something along the lines of, “if these guys can’t even repeal Obamacare, what chance does gun legislation have?”
The industry insiders I’ve talked to about this issue have, to a person, largely written off the HPA and are focused on doing what they can to get ATF wait times down. If you think about it, if the wait times went down to a few weeks, it would help a ton with moving NFA items. So streamlining this process and staffing up the ATF to where the entire NFA process is fast and painless is the only realistic way forward, at least for the foreseeable future.
Sure, it would be awesome if silencers were removed from the NFA regime, or (even better) if the NFA were repealed entirely. After the initial shortage is worked through, the price of a high-end can would lose a zero at least, because all the red tape gumming up the supply chain would melt away and the market would get to finally do its thing. But this stuff is a fantasy in today’s world. The GOP congress just hasn’t delivered on any of its promises, and gun rights are way down on the list of priorities. So, same as it ever was.
The moral of this story is, if you want a suppressor then just buy one. Because if you’re waiting on the HPA, then you’ll never get one.