On October 22nd, Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 3799, commonly referred to as the Hearing Protection Act of 2015. This is a good thing and deserves all the support it can get! Accordingly, I am asking the readers of our blog to contact your representative in Congress and urge them to support passage of the bill, perhaps even by becoming a co-sponsor. Please either call or write your Congress member, or use a service such as www.popvox.com to voice your support.
We need to get as much support for this bill as possible. Fortunately, the NRA-ILA is already supporting the bill, and it has a few co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Significant support is going to be required to send the bill to the president’s desk and overcome the expected anti-gun veto. Cynic that I am, I imagine that many in our government would be against the bill simply because it would actually reduce taxes!
Right now, the purchase of suppressors is regulated under the National Firearms Act. As of this writing, suppressors are legal for civilian ownership in 41 states, and many states have even begun to allow hunters to use suppressed firearms. However, individual gun owners wishing to buy a suppressor must currently obtain a $200 tax stamp on an ATF Form 4 and must meet all the requirements set forth by the NFA, including obtaining the chief law enforcement officer’s signature, being fingerprinted, and waiting several months to have the application processed. Admittedly, having a trust eliminates some of the hassle of obtaining NFA items, but trusts come with their own initial costs in addition to the $200 tax…
The successful passage of H.R. 3799 would remove suppressors from the NFA and allow them to be transferred similar to firearms, with a simple Form 4473 and NICS background check, eliminating the $200 tax stamp and other onerous requirements. For those that purchase suppressors after October 22nd of this year, a $200 refund would be owed from the government.
I have included the text of the message I sent to my representative, please feel free to borrow from it, improve upon it, or even just cut and paste if you want…
I am writing to ask you to support H.R. 3799, otherwise known as the Hearing Protection Act of 2015. In fact, I would ask that you co-sponsor this bill, to increase the chances of its passage.
H.R. 3799 would remove suppressors (commonly referred to as “silencers”) from the purview of the NFA, and instead allow them to be transferred as firearms currently are (with a background check) on an ATF Form 4473 at the time of purchase. This would make it far less cumbersome for gun owners to purchase an item that is important from a public health standpoint.
Gun control activists constantly call for “common-sense gun laws.” If ever there was a common sense gun law, this is it. Like a muffler for a car or truck, a firearm suppressor reduces the noise and concussion associated with shooting, reducing the potential for irreversible hearing loss.
Further, despite what is portrayed in movies, suppressors are not commonly used or possessed by criminals. Rather, they are used by firearms enthusiasts and hunters to make our sport safer for all. Making suppressors more easily accessible to legal firearms owners will only serve to improve the environment for all, by reducing the risk of hearing loss caused by common firearms use.
Even the CDC concluded that suppressor use is a good idea, as identified in the following document available on their website:
Again, I ask that you support the passage of H.R. 3799 in any way possible and not be unduly influenced by anti-gun rhetoric, instead focusing on the many facts that support a quick passage of this bill. H.R. 3799 truly deserves bi-partisan support in congress!
Many (myself included) view the National Firearms Act as legislation that should be repealed in its entirety, but that is not likely anytime soon. Instead, we need to fight the small individual battles taking place to restore and protect our gun rights, one at a time. This is one of those battles, and it’s an important one that can enhance the experience of firearms ownership for all of us.
For civilian gun owners, owning a suppressor has several advantages…
- If you are ever forced to use your firearm to defend yourself inside your home, using a suppressed firearm will preserve your hearing, night vision, and overall situational awareness.
- Suppressors are more considerate to other nearby shooters at the range.
- Suppressors allow you to hunt without worrying about wearing hearing protection or disturbing nearby homeowners.
- Suppressors allow you to introduce children or new shooters to the sport without the fear of loud noise and concussion normally associated with firing a gun.
- Or if you just want to do everything possible to protect and preserve your hearing, a suppressor is an important addition to your collection.
So please, contact your representative and ask them to support H.R. 3799!
Suppressors are not an area of expertise for me, but I do intend to buy one sooner rather than later. I would much prefer to be able to do so on a Form 4473 instead of the current lengthy and involved process!
As always, we welcome your comments and questions about our writing here at the blog… If you have knowledge or expertise that you would like to add to the content here, please share your experiences in the comment section below!