Op-Ed: The SHUSH Act is not something to be quiet about
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One of the most popular bills recently introduced in Congress was the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). In fact, this bill was in the top 10 of most popular bills on Congress.gov.
HPA would, in effect, remove suppressors (a firearm muffling device, very popular among gun owners) from the National Firearm Act (NFA) list, which currently requires a $200 tax stamp and registration, bureaucratic forms, and a waiting period before purchase. In essence, under HPA, a suppressor would be regulated like a long arm.
And it’s no wonder why this bill was so popular. Imagine if one had to pay an extra tax stamp, registration and waiting periods before putting a muffler on a car or to use ear plugs before shooting.
Yet while HPA was a good bill, it had one flaw. Because this bill regulates suppressors as firearms, one still had to undergo a background check before purchasing the suppressor. And as shown with the veteran and senior gun bans, the NICS background check system can be used to disarm gun owners without due process.
But that’s where the SHUSH Act comes in. The “Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act” – introduced in the Senate by Mike Lee and Mike Crapo, and in the House by Steve King – does everything HPA does, but also removes the requirement for the background check for purchase.
Suppressors could be purchased just as a scope or any other firearm accessory is.
This just makes sense. Background checks should not be required for firearms, much less a metal tube that quiets a bullet.
Let’s be clear: the entirety of the NFA and background check system should be trashed, but hopefully the SHUSH Act will make Congressmen realize the absurdities some gun owners must go through just to exercise a God-given, constitutionally-protected right.
Jordan Stein is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America (GOA), a grassroots organization representing more than 1.5 million gun owners. He can be followed on Twitter at @jordankstein.