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More Media Wagon Circling Over the Hearing Protection Act

This time the LA Times is getting in the game:

Stiff federal regulations on silencers date back to 1934, when they were enacted as part of a crackdown on machine guns and other instruments of mobster violence.

Actually, silencers were included in NFA because of concerns over poaching during the Great Depression. I think it’s hilarious that the LA Times writer cited the Michael Rosenwald’s WaPo article we talked about the other day, because Rosenwald’s article actually said as much. It’s almost as if no one who comments on Rosenwald’s article actually read it! Was the concern over poaching legitimate? I don’t think so. I’d argue politicians back then were just as ignorant as they are now, and Maxim had only started selling them three decades prior.

Manufacturers say it’s illogical to raise a higher bars to silencer purchases than gun purchases, but this is a double-edged sword. They may be right, but that’s an argument for making guns as hard to buy as silencers, rather than the other way around.

That’s not politically tenable in this country. Again, this is the kind of crap the bores me. You’re never going to get ordinary handguns under NFA-like restrictions. Originally, this was tried when the NFA was passed, and handguns were awkwardly removed under pressure from the National Revolver Association and the NRA. What we were left with was the AOW designation.

“There’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire,” says Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “There is evidence of a public health crisis from gun violence, and we think that’s where legislative efforts should be directed.”

Yeah, she’s an authority for sure. Let’s get Kristen to stand next to a Glock 19 as its magazine is emptied and then see how long it takes her hearing to come back to normal, assuming it does not cause permanent damage. Why doesn’t Kristen ask some of the old dudes at my club, who grew up around unsuppressed gunfire in the days before hearing protection was all that good? She won’t be able to without shouting at them, because they are all deaf as a post. Even those of us who wear hearing protection have had instances where either the foam didn’t fully expand, or the rifle butt slipped them out of position and your next shot rings your ears.

OSHA says that any noise over 85 decibels is the “action level” for requiring workers to wear hearing protection. OSHA warns that exposure of 110dB for a period of one minute risks permanent hearing loss. The sound of a 9mm firing is 160 decibels. That is loud enough to physically burst your eardrums. It will hurt if you’re near it. Also note that the decibel scale is logarithmic rather than linear. For those who don’t get that, it means that 160dB is a whole crapload louder than 85dB that OSHA considers action level. Silencers reduce the report of gunfire to below the level that risks bursting eardrums, but it’s still loud: about 120-130 decibels.

Others point to indications that silencers can reduce public awareness of developing firearm attacks and interfere with law enforcement.

Nonsense. Can you hear the sound of a jackhammer from a pretty good distance? Then you can hear the sound of a suppressed firearm.

The fact is this: if you are around a gun being shot in an indoor environment without suppression, you are more than likely going to suffer permanent hearing loss if you’re not wearing hearing protection. Most people who don’t shoot have have no idea how loud gunfire really is. TV and computer speakers cannot do it justice. People like Kristen Brown and her allies are going to deliberately lie about the effects because they are depending on that public ignorance to derail what is, actually, a legitimate effort to make it easier for people to buy what is honestly a firearm safety accessory that never should have been regulated the way it was in the first place.

11 Responses to “More Media Wagon Circling Over the Hearing Protection Act”

  1. dwb says:

    “I am as pro second Amendment as anyone, but just get earplugs like I do, they are far cheaper. This will just enable mass murderers to kill more.” – typical comment in WaPa

    “I guess Blue Lives dont matter.” As if BLM is avoiding shooting police because they can’t buy oil filters.

    I guess there is a video of someone shooting a “high power” 22lr. I have not seen it, because I just dont have much time for stupidity.

    Honestly, I feel myself slipping into reactionary mode with every stupid hyperbolic prediction of these idiots. It makes me want to push this if only to cause butthurt and make them face their ultra-irrational fears.

    And this is why Trump got elected, and the polls were wrong. People have stopped engaging because there is no point in debate. We are just going to shut up and do it, and I am going to get a big fat scary supressor for my SBR.

    • HSR47 says:

      ““I guess Blue Lives dont matter.” As if BLM is avoiding shooting police because they can’t buy oil filters.”

      Bonus: If they’re already felons, the government can’t apply special penalties for their use of most Title II firearms (basically, anything other than MGs — the registration requirement violates their fifth amendment rights).

      “Honestly, I feel myself slipping into reactionary mode with every stupid hyperbolic prediction of these idiots. It makes me want to push this if only to cause butthurt and make them face their ultra-irrational fears.”

      Frankly, all the hysteria from the media over the HPA has likely actually raised the likelihood that it will get passed — it’s only serving to make it a more visible bill, and that’s really all it needs. The string of pro-muffler laws we’ve seen over the last few years in various states (legalizing them entirely, and legalizing them for hunting) indicates that the culture is really ready for it.

      This is one where the insanity of our opponents is what will likely win us the day: Their shrill voices make it clear to anyone who has ever heard real gunfire just how insane they are. On the whole, people don’t like to side with crazy people.

      If congress passes it, the president WILL sign it if he wants to have any hope of winning in 2020.

      Before all these shrill articles started coming out, I rated it’s chances at ~25-45% of passing this term. Now I think we’re somewhere around ~40-65%. If the media assault continues, I think we may well see it’s chances improve.

      That being said, I think reciprocity is the more important bill for us culturally, and it’s likely that it will get stuck on the back burner by congress if they run with HPA. Of the two, I think that reciprocity would also have a much larger positive impact on the shooting culture, and I say that as someone with a TON of Title II firearms — I’m currently waiting on 4 tax stamps, and I have four more applications that I need to send to BATFE.

      “And this is why Trump got elected, and the polls were wrong. People have stopped engaging because there is no point in debate. We are just going to shut up and do it, and I am going to get a big fat scary supressor for my SBR.”

      Exactly. I work for a dealer, and I’m fairly heavily involved with our outbound transfers; the number of people starting paperwork on Title II firearms pretty much dropped off a cliff in the middle of July, slowly built up to the election, and has dropped off an even steeper cliff since then. If not for SilencerShop’s kiosk system, our Title II sales would be even worse. 41F has fucked the industry as a whole; I expect companies like Silencerco to lobby hard on the HPA because they’re between a rock and a hard place: If the paperwork stays like it is, their sales will plummet, and if it drops to cash and carry with a 4473/NICS check then their sales will skyrocket. Frankly, I think that everyone would rather see the latter.

      • dwb says:

        Reciprocity is far more important, especially for comrades behind enemy lines in NYC, CA, Nj, MD, etc.

        NFA sales dropped off because there was a lot of hype and panic, people blew their wad in May thinking Clinton would win. Sales will return, in a few years. I dont know if HPA will help the industry. Sales quantities may go up, but at lower prices. People only have so much disposable income. I think manufacturers may be disappointed, as they may end up competing with cheaper models when HPA passes. Where it may help is new product development, like integral supressors.

        Actually, now is a great time to buy, I think the wait time is going to cliff dive very soon.

        • HSR47 says:

          Clinton had nothing to do with the 41F panic. That was entirely due to people not wanting to have to submit photographs and fingerprints.

          I work for an FFL, and I have been handing an increasingly large portion of our sales of Title II firearms; For most of the final ~180 days before 41f kicked in, I was getting multiple calls per day from people looking for specific products. I was getting so many calls that I started asking questions to determine their motives. A common theme was that fingerprint/photograph requirement was more intrusion than they were willing to submit to. The vast majority of customers I spoke with in the store in the same period had similar views.

          Sure, most of these people blew their wad 6-12 months ago, but most of them are also entirely out of the Title II market. Chances are that this won’t change unless/until the application process no longer requires fingerprints/photographs.

          Trusts were popular because they made it possible to buy Title II firearms with a modicum of convenience and privacy. 41F destroyed that, and has probably set the market back to roughly where it was 5-10 years ago. Sure, that means that we’re going to start seeing faster transfers (at some point, probably after they get into what was submitted around mid-August), but that also means that we’re going to start seeing industry stagnation if we don’t see legislative or administrative steps taken to improve the process.

          That being said, if you’re looking to buy, NOW is the time. HPA has been reintroduced, so if the refund provision remains you might stand to see a tax credit. Also, due to the sales slump I mention above, prices are pretty much as low as they’re likely to get anytime soon. If HPA passes, expect prices to skyrocket: suddenly there will be huge demand, heavily limited supply, and inventory that has had insufficient turnover. Expect MSRP or higher. Buy now, start paperwork now; if HPA passes you’ll stand to benefit greatly. If it doesn’t, you will at least have gotten a good deal on a can.

          • dwb says:

            “If HPA passes, expect prices to skyrocket: suddenly there will be huge demand, heavily limited supply, and inventory that has had insufficient turnover”

            Over the very short term, perhaps, although I doubt it. People willing to pay high prices already are. Long term, the third law of demand in economics will apply to suppressors as it does to everything else:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchian%E2%80%93Allen_effect

            Lowering a lump-sum tax or fixed cost switches demand to lower quality items, with lower prices.

            In other words: Current manufacturers will face stiff competition from firms making cheap knock offs. There will be a rush of demand, but for suppressors priced much much lower than they are now. Margins will compress.

            HPA will be fantastic for consumers, like me. It will probably be a mixed bag for manufacturers and FFLs, if transfer costs are lowered to the point that suppressors become just another attachment like muzzle breaks and scopes.

      • John Stephens says:

        “Oft evil will shall evil mar.”

  2. Publius says:

    YOU NEED TO WRITE THIS POST IN ALL CAPS SO I CAN HEAR YOU

  3. TS says:

    “There’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire,” says Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    My audiologist disagrees with her. One of the first things he asked me was “do you shoot guns”? I said I always double up the protection, and he said that’s still not enough to prevent damage. However in my case, I attribute my tinnitus to a decade of motorcycle riding before figuring out I should be wearing earplugs under my helmet. It’s more a result of long term exposure to 90 dB. Sadly, I don’t shoot as much as I’d like.

    “There is evidence of a public health crisis from gun violence, and we think that’s where legislative efforts should be directed.”

    But we’re not talking about guns- we’re talking about suppressors. Where is your evidence of gun violence using suppressors? I’m sure if they had even one case of a “silenced assassination” they wouldn’t shut up about it. They literally have nothing.

  4. SPQR says:

    Hiltzik has a long history of dishonesty.

  5. Rob K says:

    We need to frame this as a help to cops. “Why do you want cops to go deaf?”

    • dwb says:

      All this will yield is an NFA exemption for active law enforcement.

      Ironically, the Brady Campaign cites as an example (of a mass murderer using a suppressor) is Chistopher Dorner.

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