After 82 years, it looks like one bi-partisan bill may finally remove firearm suppressors from the National Firearms Act regulation.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced the Hearing Protection Act in Congress last October along with 10 co-sponsors. Since then, it has become one of the most viewed bills in Congress. HR 3799 picked up the support of Rep. Charles Fleischmann (R-TN) last week, bringing it’s total number of co-sponsors to 50; 49 Republicans and 1 Democrat.
The bill’s intent is to amend the Internal Revenue code to remove a $200 transfer tax on the purchase of silencers and “treat any person who acquires or possesses a firearm silencer as meeting any registration or licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act.”
“Throughout the endless onslaught of anti-gun proposals and executive orders, the Hearing Protection Act has been one of the few shining lights for the sportsmen’s community,” American Suppressor Association President Knox Williams said on Thursday. “We should be afforded every opportunity to make our favorite pastimes safer. The HPA does just that, by helping hunters and recreational shooters protect their hearing while in the field or at the range.”
While the bill continues to gain support and attention, not all of it is positive. The Violence Policy Center issued a report on February 11th classifying gun silencers as ‘a threat to public safety’ in response to HR 3799.
“Silencers are military-bred accessories that make it easier for criminals to take innocent lives,” VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand said in a statement. “Even though silencers are currently difficult for private citizens to obtain, they have already been used in horrific crimes. Elected officials should stand up to the gun industry’s craven attempt to make silencers more easily available.”
So if gun owners want this bill passed, there’s one thing that needs to be done to ensure it’s success.
“Tens of thousands of sportsmen and women have sent letters to their legislators, asking them to support the HPA,” said Williams. “While impressive, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to get this legislation passed, we need hundreds of thousands of people to do the same.”