Hearing Protection Act Introduced

Silencing is Not a CrimeThis just in from NRA:

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced its support today for the Hearing Protection Act. Sponsored by Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05), the legislation removes suppressors from regulations established under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

“Suppressors significantly reduce the chance of hearing loss for anyone who enjoys the shooting sports,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of the NRA and our 5 million members, I want to thank Rep. Salmon for his leadership on this important bill.”

Prevailing regulations requires buyers to send an application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), pay a $200 tax, and pass an arduously time consuming ATF background check. Under Salmon’s bill there will be no application, no tax, and buyers would be required to pass the same National Criminal Instant Background Check (NICS) as law-abiding guns owners.

As a leading voice in the industry, the American Suppressor Association has provided valuable insight to the creation of the Hearing Protection Act.

“Suppressors benefit all involved in hunting and the shooting sports. It’s time to bring the law in line with modern technology,” said Cox.

It is currently legal to hunt with a suppressor in 37 states. 41 states allow private ownership of suppressors.

This is good progress. It’s a long way from getting a bill introduced to actually getting it passed, but this is a good first step. It should put to bed the myth that NRA doesn’t do anything for NFA owners.

Now how about we try something novel, and actually try to pass this thing, and put it on Obama’s desk and dare him to veto it. Then the 2016 nominee can explain why they want hunters and shooters to go deaf, and for people who live near ranges to constantly have to put up with the sound of gunfire.

16 thoughts on “Hearing Protection Act Introduced”

    1. I can’t imagine a court ruling that banning a suppressor infringes on your 2A rights.

  1. Every bill like this, that highlights contradictions in thought, which is introduced is something Bloomberg has to respond to. Everytown, etc have to come up with an explanation of how they aren’t “anti-gun” and why their opposition is common-sense.

  2. Sebastian, I’d caution your last statement because it’s a short step from that to mandates for suppressor use.

  3. Then the 2016 nominee can explain why they want hunters and shooters to go deaf, and for people who live near ranges to constantly have to put up with the sound of gunfire.

    Because TV tells me they’re used by assassins and criminals!!!

    Fortunately, Penn and Teller have done their bit to demonstrate that they don’t turn a rifle shot or handgun report into a “pfft!”

  4. Good for Rep. Salmon and thanks to him. But overall I’m tired of the electoral signaling via go-nowhere bills. I want to see pro-gun words wedged between the clauses for EPA appropriations and authorization bills.

    Let Obama veto EPA dollars over guns. Either way, we win. Is the GOP ballsy enough to do that, though?

    Incoming Speaker Ryan is going to enforce the Hastert Rule, which means that the GOP caucus as a whole must have majority support for a bill before it is allowed to the floor. That’s not quite what the Freedom Caucus wanted – they wanted a shot at the floor no matter what. So in theory it could get a floor vote if the majority of GOP members agree to move it.

    BUT, the Hastert Rule would pretty much require the bill have enough votes to pass the House before it even makes it to the floor – and the behind-the-scenes caucus voting is not public. You won’t know for sure which RINO screwed you over.

    Forget what Schoolhouse Rock said — all the lawmaking happens in committee via the amendment process. Boehner controlled that process strictly. If Ryan lets rank and file members propose amendments and allows chairmen to let them go forward, we could see some interesting things happen in favor of gun rights now that Hillary! has decided to make it a wedge issue.

    If Ryan lets House members do what we elected them to do, it won’t matter what his conservative credentials are. But if he tries on the iron glove and decides he likes the fit, then we’re still screwed.

    Hopefully Rep. Salmon thinks he can move this one way or the other (amendment is the only way it will become law). We’ll see.

    1. It also shows that reaching out to the committee staffers is very important. They’re the ones who assemble the legislation.

  5. This won’t even make it out of subcommittee. No member in an even remotely competitive district would ever vote for this for fear of the attack ads next year. Same with national reciprocity.

    Good for Matt Salmon, but he might as well have proposed repealing the income tax.

    1. I think you are right, and I think this bill is an example of why Ryan won’t let go of the iron glove over committees and rules and bills progress.

      The Freedom Caucus wanted any new leader to allow amendments and votes on bills in committee. Ryan responded with the “Hastert Rule” (see my above comment).

      That means, ostensibly, no bill makes the floor unless a GOP super-majority support it because you need enough GOP support for it to pass without Dem support. Those caucus votes happen behind the curtain and you don’t get the results by name or even by percentage – they are secret. This is how bills die – when their public co-sponsor secretly votes to kill it while maintaining the public face of support. So forget about this bill going to the floor. Too many squishes.

      Amendments are another issue. They are public, and they can be used to attach items like this to much larger bills that will go to the President’s desk. Boehner did not allow committee chairs to allow open amendments to bills, in order to control, well…everything.

      I suspect Ryan will do the same.

      1. Although I think the result will be nothing, I disagree with the conclusion that there would be any tangible backlash to supporting this or nat’l reciprocity. The facts are gaining more traction now, gun free zones kill people and anything we could do to make people safer would play well in an election as opposed to shrill, feel good prohibitions that are already proven ineffective.

        That said, this bill and national reciprocity are not seriously supported by the organizations that say they support them. I have heard NRA-ILA supports the suppressor bill, but what kind of support have they given national reciprocity?

        Now, answer honestly this time, what kind of support have they really given it?

        The reality is that ILA does not want this bill to reach the floor the same as national reciprocity because if they actually succeed, they can’t milk the members for those donations. And congressional members want more than anything to do nothing because if they do nothing its easier to be popular and popular gets elected.

        The timing of this bill is no better than the timing of George Allen’s ‘end the national parks gun ban’ bill, a few weeks before he got beat by Jim Webb.
        It was too little, too late and he never had any intention of doing anything other than submitting the bill.

        Too many of us fall for this strategy year after year. Instead of calling Congress, we should be calling NRA and threatening to become non-members if they don’t get off their lazy behinds and put some real support behind the bills and get them passed. If they want a bill passed, they can achieve it. PLCAA is a very good example of when NRA wants to do something, they can- at the expense of national reciprocity which could have passed the same year with some actually support from them.

        Getting bills introduced means very little these days unless you’re prepared to back it up with pressure to pass the bills.

        On the subject of squishes; they’re squishy because we allow them to be squishy. If they get too soft, they need to hear from angry constituents who squash squishes.

  6. “It should put to bed the myth that NRA doesn’t do anything for NFA owners.”
    I don’t think the NRA had anything to do with this, aside from voicing support for it. From what I read, this is thanks to the ASA.

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