Congressional Republicans are pushing for some changes in federal laws that would make the process of buying a gun silencer easier. The lawmakers say that they believe a silencer is a safety feature which helps prevent hearing injuries that could be sustained when firing a gun and federal law shouldn’t make it so difficult to obtain one. If the Hearing Protection Act that was introduced this week passes, those who wish to buy a silencer would still have to pass a background check, but the $200 fee would be waived and the waiting period would also be eliminated.
South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan introduced the bill in the House with Texas Rep. John Carter, also a Republican. Duncan said, “I’ve been shooting since I was a young child — beginning with plinking with a .22 rifle and dove hunting with my Dad. My hearing has been damaged because of gun noise. Had I had access to a suppressor, it may have protected me, as well as millions of other Americans, from this sort of hearing loss. This is a health issue.”
The lobbying arms behind the NRA have put their full support behind the proposed Hearing Protection Act. They say suppressors are “harmless and very rarely used in crime” and that the joint bill would end the “cumbersome and lengthy application process.”
In the past, similar measures have failed, but with President-elect Trump soon to take office, supporters are much more confident it will get done.
Donald Trump Jr., a hunting enthusiast, recently appeared in a promotional video for Utah-based Silencer Co.. In the video, Trump Jr. says, “I believe in American manufacturing. I love your product.”
He added that a silencer was a safety issue.
If the bill passes, it will eliminate the bureaucracy of owning a suppressor, would get rid of the accessory from the scope that was required by the National Firearms Act, and it would also relieve applicants from the outdated federal application process and replace it with the immediate National Instant Criminal Background Check. Additionally, anyone that bought a silencer after October 22, 2015 would be refunded the $200 transfer tax they were charged.