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Hearing Protection Act Loaded onto Omnibus

The Hearing Protection Act has been attached to the SHARE act, which is a sportsman’s omnibus bill, and what a glorious omnibus it is. Of the important things the SHARE act does:

  • Eliminates the sporting purposes language from GCA ’68 and the law on armor piercing ammunition.
  • Creates a blanket exception for shotguns to prevent arbitrary reclassification as destructive devices.
  • Moves silencers/suppressors from Title II to Title I (no longer an NFA item).
  • Preempts states from playing games to discourage silencers but does not outright prevent states from banning them. (limited preemption)
  • Enhances the FOPA language to include travel by means other than vehicles.
  • Creates remedies against states that violate the safe travel provisions, including a cause of action and attorneys fees.
  • A bunch of hunting related shit I don’t really care about.

One concern I do have with the enhanced safe travel provision is that while it does cover ammunition and firearms, does not cover ammunition feeding devices or other accessories. If this bill passes, it will make suppressors Title I, which means they will become more common and more widely transported. Ten states still ban them even after this becomes law. About the same number of states have some kind of restriction on ammunition feeding devices. FOPA safe travel won’t do us much good if we can still be arrested for magazines and accessories.

The antis are quickly trying to get word out that they are now supposed to oppose the SHARE act, and not the HPA anymore. The attachment of HPA to a bill that should be easier to pass suggests that perhaps the GOP is a bit more serious about actually passing this, if they can pass anything.

I’ve been blogging for ten years, and this bill would constitute winning on a number of things we’ve been fighting for that whole time, including things I didn’t think would be politically possible ten years ago.

35 Responses to “Hearing Protection Act Loaded onto Omnibus”

  1. aerodawg says:

    not just winning, winning in an epic manner. just round filing sporting purposes would be an epic win with nothing else….

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      Epic win is right!

      Even more important the the suppressor change would be the sporting purposes removal. That has been used many times for anti-gun purposes.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    Whoah. Hunters vote.

  3. Whetherman says:

    Sincere question: Will an Omnibus bill have a better chance of passage than any of its sub-provisions would have individually? If not, pessimist-me thinks it could be the place where nice ideas go to die.

    On the other hand, I could argue that since the anti-side has no great grassroots support, and such anti-gun political capital as is available would be brought to bear just as hard against any of the sub-provisions as against the whole thing, maybe strategically going for the whole package at once makes the most sense.

    Last, in our collective enthusiasm, has anyone in our camp seen this thing, to know whether “omnibus” may mean it contains some traps our enthusiasm will incline us to overlook?

    You’ll have to forgive me for remembering the “Sportsmens’ Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill” of 1995, here in PA, that contained scads of virulent gun control that took years to weed out (that, that could be) but was overlooked at the time by everyone who saw some small gain for their own pet gun issue. The word “omnibus” has made me nervous ever since, and that was a Republican-inspired bill, too.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      It definitely has a greater chance of passing. Because it contains so many provisions, and especially because it includes hunter related provisions, its hard to attack. This is because even if a member doesn’t necessarily like a certain provision, and might vote against it in a standalone bill, they may greatly like another one, and that would override their concerns.

      This bill has some flaws, but no where near the one you mentioned. Its good overall.

    • Sebastian says:

      Last, in our collective enthusiasm, has anyone in our camp seen this thing, to know whether “omnibus” may mean it contains some traps our enthusiasm will incline us to overlook?

      I linked to the actual bill in the article. I didn’t read the whole thing, and a lot of it is hunting stuff I’m no expert on, but the parts that I’ve outlined look good to me. I am worried about the failure to mention accessories or ammunition feeding devices in the safe travel provision.

    • HSR47 says:

      Lumping things together can be detrimental in some cases, when certain provisions have wildly disparate constituencies, but I think it will help in this case: There are a lot of overlapping constituencies that apply to this bill, and a lot of those provisions are highly desired and relatively non-controversial.

      It’s cold calculation: Individual congressmen might want to vote against 1-3 provisions (like HPA), but they can’t afford to be on record as voting down 3-8+ of the provisions of the bill (like the repeal of the sporting purposes language, elimination of idiotic import rules, enhanced interstate transport protections, et. al.).

  4. It’s a good win for sure. But I wonder if the GOP is throwing us this bone so as not to take on reciprocity. If they give us this and do a few other things, maybe we’ll have enough momentum to hold on to the house and give them a better (maybe even 60 vote) majority in the senate.

    Or at least hold on to the house and convinece democrats they need to stop ignoring us.

  5. Matt Gilbert says:

    Thanks for the breakdown. What happens when the sporting purposes language goes away? Cool new toys for sale?

    • Ian Argent says:

      Fixes some importation issues?

    • James says:

      I wondered this as well. 922r is beyond stupid and infringing.

      Fingers crossed. Sad that I have to resort to wishing but here we are.

    • LucusLoC says:

      cheaper ammo for pistols. Steel core, hard brass and a few miscellaneous design features all all precluded types of pistol ammo under current law. This is also an avenue to attack cheap rifle ammo, if a “pistol” uses that ammo (think AK and AK pattern pistols). Removing the provision means no more fights over ammo imports, and no more worries over certain loadings for pistol class cartridges.

    • HSR47 says:

      A lot of things.

      * Any firearm that would be legal to make here for sale to the public would be legal to import. Given the dodges used with a lot of imported firearms (i.e. importing them in “sporting” configurations and then swapping parts once they’re in the country) it would likely lower costs, and it would also open the door for a lot of cheaper guns (since the sporting purposes language has been used to prevent the importation of inexpensive guns intended for self-defense use).

      * It would likely eliminate the distinction between domestically produced and imported Title II firearms — Currently, no Title II firearms imported after the effective date of the 1968 GCA can be legally sold to a non-licensee (i.e. you need an FFL to get them). This would probably open the door to imported SBR/SBS/DD/AOW/Silencers, and make all “pre-sample” machineguns fully transferable.

      * As others have stated, it would clean up the ammo importation setup, and open the door for a lot of cheap ammo that is not currently importable.

  6. Billll says:

    It includes curbing any lead bans for fishing sinkers and/or ammo.

    A broad spectrum bill has a chance of passage as proposed amendments are likely to be small issue items. The horses are traded on an “if you don’t take out anything I want, I won’t take out anything you want” basis. Propose your amendment so you can brag to the home folks that you tried, and we’ll vote it down so as not to offend the rest.

  7. Brad says:

    This is amazing, stunning, fantastic news! Fingers crossed for passage!

    Winning indeed.

    I’ve thought for some time that the “sporting purposes” restrictions of the Gun Control Act was very vulnerable to litigation because of D.C. v Heller. But who wants to wait ten years for a case to worm it’s way through the hostile lower Federal Courts?

    The vulnerability of combat shotguns to sudden reclassification as NFA weapons was a threat that I’m surprised Obama didn’t pull the trigger on. He could have done that with a simple executive action, but I guess that would have conflicted too much with the politics of banning so-called “assault weapons” and the dumb Biden shotgun pitch used to justify an AW ban.

    So much has changed not just in political power balance, but also in law and technology since 1968, that much of the nutty GCA 68 has been ripe for reversal. The rationalization the GCA used to restrict interstate handgun sales was obsolete after the Federal background check law kicked in.

    The irony is one way the Clintonites justified passage of the Federal background checks was by deliberately ignoring the GCA 68 and falsely claiming people could evade State background check laws by buying a handgun in a different State! Well, the dummies got their wish, so now the GCA 68 can be more easily eliminated.

  8. Kristophr says:

    Hopefully, all 12 gauges will be taken off the NFA list.

    It would also be nice to be able to import 20x138b ammo for all those Lahti ATRs out there.

  9. The Jack says:

    What are the odds that HPA will act as a poison pill for this?

  10. Gary Foster says:

    what does title one mean for it all? what is it?

    • Jim says:

      Title 1 is the section dealing with ordinary firearms that you can buy over the counter with no waiting and just a background check.

      Title 2 is the section dealing with NFA stuff that requires the tax stamp, the application, the waiting, etc. It’s basically a huge pile of bullshit that adds up to a background check, it just takes 3000 times longer.

  11. Jim says:

    Holy shit, when Trump said there would be so much winning we’d get sick of winning, I thought he was exaggerating. This is like getting ready to order an appetizer sized amount of win and being told “sir, this is a buffet.”

    The most encouraging part of this is how it’s attached to a bigger bill (which means killing it will piss off more people) and it actually seems to be moving forward despite the 5 ring russian circus going on in DC right now.

  12. Steve says:

    I still think the relatively niche issues about SBR’s and national reciprocity, while I support, are a waste of political capital compared to the opportunities we should prioritize, which is using the state to entrench the heritage of shooting through youth sports, hunter education and marksmanship. Don’t get me wrong – all about getting the suppressor generally available, but there’s also a bigger picture for preserving gun culture in America that we should be mindful of while we have votes and the exec branch. In that spirit, this bill has some AWESOME stuff in it that wasn’t in the bullet points above. My mind is being blown by page 26:
    “The head of each Federal agency shall use his or her authorities in a manner consistent with this title and other applicable law, to—
    (i) lease or permit use of lands under the jurisdiction of the agency for shooting ranges
    (ii) designate specific lands under the jurisdiction of the agency for recreational shooting activities”

    This may be a bigger deal out West, by anything we can do to normalize shooting and provide opportunities to shoot is a good thing.

    On another note, I imagine there’s fodder in here that will be used as bargaining chips and that’s why it’s good that HPA got rolled up, assuming HPA stuff doesn’t get cut. But I wouldn’t expect this to survive in its entirety.

  13. JC_VA says:

    Steve is correct. Our efforts to roll back restrictions must also be done with the idea of entrenching the Culture into law, just as the Left attempts to do. That means hunting, but also the broader Gun Culture.

    That’s why I also support having gun owners as a protected class (been suggesting it for a few years now). We may not like the protected class concept, but it’s not going away any time soon.

  14. Ian Argent says:

    And, as if on cue, someone takes a rifle and a bag of magazines to express an opinion from the Bullet Box

  15. “FOPA safe travel won’t do us much good if we can still be arrested for magazines and accessories.” Would rather carry my Hi-Power, but when doing research in Connecticut, my little 6-round Colt Mustang was nice.

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