Sen. Mike Lee Introduces Bill Easing Restrictions On Suppressors

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Suppressors are restricted under the National Firearms Act of 1934 here in the United States, but in some other nations, they’re considered mandatory equipment for gun owners. It’s considered rude to shoot without a suppressor.

Meanwhile, our government treats them like anyone who wants one belongs on a watchlist.

However, a bill has been introduced that would change that.

While President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats look for ways to tighten federal gun laws in the wake of several mass shootings across the country, a group of Republicans, led by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, wants to undo regulations on an accessory known as a silencer.

Lee said the steps needed to buy a silencer or suppressor amount to gun control.

“The current, oppressive process required to buy silencers only hurts the eardrums of millions of hunters, sportsmen and marksmen each year, and serves to provide surreptitious gun control,” he said in a statement.

Lee said his bill, the Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act, would eliminate the “onerous” regulation to make a legal sport safer for millions of Americans. Sens. Ted Cruz, of Texas, and John Cornyn, of Texas, are co-sponsoring the legislation, and Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., introduced a companion bill in the House.

Lee proposed the same legislation in 2017 and 2019.

Proponents of the bill and similar measures claim deregulating silencers is a health issue.

“Streamlining the burdensome process for obtaining a suppressor is important to protect the hearing of hunters and sportsmen across America,” Cruz said.

Obviously, I agree.

The bill already has support from at least one pro-gun group.

In a press release, the Gun Owners of America offered their support:

Bill to Fully Deregulate Suppressors Earns GOA’s Support

Springfield, VA – Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America (GOA), released the following statement after Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Representative Bob Good of Virginia introduced the “Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing” (SHUSH) Act:

Gun Owners of America applauds the introduction of this legislation. The SHUSH Act would not only remove suppressors from the federal regulations of the National Firearms Act, but also treat suppressors as any other firearm accessory – free from the infringing background check process. This bill will not only benefit hunters and sport shooters, but also take much needed steps for gun owners to restore the rights protected by the Second Amendment. GOA appreciates Senator Lee and Representative Good for leading on this issue.

The bill can be read here, and additional information about the legislation can be found here.

Frankly, there’s not much to dislike about the bill, except for the fact that it’s still needed.

A GOP-controlled Congress had the opportunity to pass a bill that would pull suppressors off the NFA list during the Trump administration. It was the best opportunity we were going to see for a bill like this to pass, and Republican leadership just wouldn’t let it happen.

Now, there’s absolutely no hope in hell of seeing this bill actually pass. Not in the current environment.

Even if Congress would pass it, President Joe Biden wouldn’t sign it. Not unless he thought it was an autograph request, anyway.

As such, it’s not going to happen.

Still, it does serve a purpose. It gives pro-gun lawmakers something to hitch onto and at least look like they’re trying to play offense rather than just be defensive in their posture.

I want this to pass, but I recognize the realities of the here and now. Still, the bill sure does bring a smile to my face.