Gun Control Folks Definitely Expecting HPA to Move

There’s just too much chatter about it for that not to be the case. A common argument against: “What’s wrong with ear plugs?” But note this editorial concedes many of our points:

To be sure, the noise-reduction devices at issue do not eliminate gun noise; they reduce it by 30 decibels or so, making “suppressor” a more accurate term, and mitigating whatever additional risk the general public might face if the law results in more use of silencers, including unlawful use, as opponents fear.

Sure, it could happen. But the sky could fall too! Death, destruction everywhere! And if that’s going to happen, and WaPo’s editorial staff would prefer it be deafening, and not just kinda loud.

In fact, the harms to shooters are modest — somewhat elevated risk of non-total hearing loss, essentially — and effective alternatives to silencers are readily available.

Basically, they don’t give a crap about your hearing unless you’re driven to the point of utter deafness. Then they care. Maybe.

The problem is that firearms users generally don’t take these simple precautions. Suppressors might help, NHCA acknowledged, but not “without the wearing of hearing protection.” In other words, “manufacturers cannot guarantee that use of noise suppressors alone will prevent hearing loss.”

Again, making our point for us. You still need hearing protection, just not as much. I doubt anyone at the WaPo involved in this editorial actually shoots, or has any idea that not all earplugs or muffs are created equal. That’s also not to mention that it’s better for hunters to  be able to hear what’s going on around them. Or for instructors teaching a new shooter to be able to communicate effectively without having to shout.

I use these electronic muffs, and they are the best compromise between protection and usability I’ve found. But I still can’t get a good check weld on a rifle with them. Also note they are rated for a 22db reduction, which means they reduce to about 138 decibels, which is just below action level. Note, WaPo journalists, that muffs that take gunfire well into the safe range are a lot thicker.

Ear plugs are very effective, offering up to 30 decibel reduction for quality plugs, but my main issue with earplugs is that I can’t hear shit when I’m wearing plugs unless someone is absolutely shouting at me, and to be completely honest, I hate having shit stuffed in my ears. You want to be able to communicate with other shooters and the people around you when you are shooting potentially dangerous weapons.

I’m not saying suppressors are a panacea that will make all hearing issues and noise complaints go away at ranges everywhere. But they are another tool in the toolbox. Even the WaPo editorial staff has to concede that the only reason to restrict them are hysterical predictions about criminal use if we unrestricted them. That’s never happened when this kind of thing has been predicted by journalists before, and I don’t see why it would happen now.

29 thoughts on “Gun Control Folks Definitely Expecting HPA to Move”

  1. For a standalone bill, you need 60 votes in the Senate, which isn’t going to happen right now. During the Obama administration, pro-gun legislation was attached as amendments to must-pass bills. What’s the procedural trick to get this to pass this time around? The current administration and Congress is in such disarray that they can’t even get the “major” parts of their legislative agenda moving along, much less small potatoes stuff like this.

  2. The Supreme Court is why I voted for Trump. If he manages to get Congress and the Senate to pass the HPA, he will have my support until the end. I do have to admit that I am really enjoying the daily liberal aneurysms as well.

  3. If you need hearing protection when using a suppressor, you are using the wrong ammunition.
    Yes, suppressors will reduce the noise of any gun being fired, but they have their biggest use when shooting subsonic ammunition.
    For high powered rifles, shooting subsonic ammo takes away enough range and hitting power that I’m not sure suppressors are worth it; for pistols and 22s, using subsonic ammo has less of an impact and suppressors can be used comfortably and safely without hearing protection.

    1. No, you need plugs and muffs even when shooting suppressed. A reduction of 30 db alone is not enough. See my story below. You are risking hyperacusis. You may feel feel fine and still be damaging your ears with every shot. An audiogram won’t pick up the damage until 90% of the hair cells at a particular frequency are dead. If you are really unlucky you will damage the hair cells / nerves that transmit sensations of loudness and get hyperaucis, instead of just getting tinnitus and deafness.

      1. AS I mentioned, that is why subsonic ammo is important; true subsonic ammo will gives a reduced sound level to begin with. Even without a suppressor, my subsonic weapons are below 130 dB when using the right ammo.

          1. This.

            If you need to do maximum damage (i.e. when shooting for serious purposes, like self-defense and putting food on the table), then you generally need your bullets going as fast as possible.

            Subs just don’t have the kinetic energy to humanely kill medium to large game, and what little energy they do have is severely limited by distance.

            A .308 bullet at subsonic velocities has ballistics that are roughly comparable to a Government Model 1911 in .45 ACP. You wouldn’t hunt elk at 300 yards with a 1911, but a full-power .308 is certainly more than up to that task.

            1. Exactly my point – for weapons that depend on speed to do their damage, suppressors make little to no difference, and if you want accuracy at a distance, they are usually counterproductive because they reduce accuracy.

              To me, suppressors shine in pistol use, or in rounds where going subsonic doesn’t significantly reduce performance.

                1. He looks at speed, not accuracy and doesn’t support his claim that accuracy is unchanged – I didn’t make any reference to speed; I referenced noise levels and accuracy.
                  In my personal experience with the suppressors that I own, my group sizes go up when using the same ammunition in the same weapon with a suppressor compared to without.
                  When I shoot high power supersonic with a suppressor, there is little difference in noise suppressed versus not.

  4. The thing that gets me is that everyone who opposes this also claim to support “the rights of hunters and sportsmen.”

    BS. This should be a slam dunk. I would like to see the message get out that this proves what we’ve been saying all along. They are are not “pro gun safety,” they are not for ‘responsible gun ownership”. They are anti gun.

  5. If the HPA passes, just watch. In less than 5 years you’ll see the antis start pushing for mandatory suppressor use.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree that is what they are likely to do. And these current arguments against will be long forgotten.

    2. Since it’ll drive up the cost and down the availability of firearms…

    3. Mandatory suppressor use, with suppressors regulated to weight not less than 5lbs and be not less than 12 inches long (including on CCW weapons).

      They will try to weaponize anything they can against us, we just have to keep fighting for the right things and against the wrong. Heavily regulated CCW was the 1987 standard, but we’ve been growing that to constitutional carry in state after state.

      1. That having been said, I see no reason to let the perfect be the enemy of the good – we can get suppressors delisted and burn the “mandatory suppressor use” bridge when we come to it.

        That goes for a lot of the immediate advancements in gun rights that could, in theory, be used against us, incidentally.

  6. what can help is doubling on the ear pro — plugs in, then electronic muffs over top. (then crank the volume on the muffs of course). I’ve used that method for some of the indoor action shooting my local range does. (AR-15’s are LOUD indoors).

  7. At my local range they’ve added ‘baffles’ to prevent rounds from lofting over the berms. Which is silly, when sitting at the bench I can still get daylight over the berm which means I can get a round over the berm. Anyway, the baffle reflects all that noise back at the shooter AND at the subdivision behind the shooting line across the ravine. Having seen suppressors on the line, I can tell you it’s much nicer for everybody on the line and the whole neighborhood.

  8. The other reason for the antis pushing this so hard is that they want to claim victory when it eventually founders on the shoals of the Senate.

    They haven’t had a win for awhile. By planting the flag on this — which I find unlikely to make it through the House, much less the Senate — they can claim a victory.

    1. Query – is the math from the last Reciprocity vote in the Senate still doable? That was a while back, but it’s a way to estimate Senate support.

      1. HPA and Reciprocity have similar but disparate constituencies. Not everyone who supports one supports the other.

        1. Close enough for back-of-the-envelope vote counting? I mean, you gotta figure +/- 5 votes in any estimate even for a well-known issue.

  9. Ear plugs are NOT “very effective.” I used to collect guns and shoot recreationally. That, along with my normal life, came to a halt, when I made the mistake of shooting a 12 gauge shotgun ONCE wearing only ear plugs. This, for some freakish reason, caused permanent damage to the hair/cells nerves in my ear that transmit sensations of loudness to my brain (these are about 5% of the total- most hair cells just transmit normal audible sound).

    This gave me a terrible disease called hyperacusis. Now, when I hear things that are not loud (music, crowds etc) my brain tells me that they are screamingly loud, and I experience excruciating pain in my ears.

    I have been doing sound therapy for this, but have had many relapses. This has deprived me of a normal and pain free life since 2012.

    I do not want anyone else to go through this same Hell. Suppressors need to be de-regulated immediately.

    If anyone wants information about hyperacusis and its treatment, check out:

    And for my fellow gun fans: if you think you are safe because you wear earplugs- YOU AREN’T- you are still damaging your ears. Hopefully what happened to me won’t happen to you, but it could.

    Wear plugs + muffs + use a suppressor.

  10. There are electronic headsets that suppress noise down to around 29-30dB., but they’re a bit more expensive.

    On the open club range, I use just the e-muffs. Indoors, I double up with plugs.

    1. Comrade Misfit, earmuffs alone are not enough, they only suppress about 30 or so. If a rifle is 160, you are still damaging your ears by exposing them to 130 decibles. Just because you don’t detect the damage now doesn’t mean it is not occurring.

  11. What – someone admitted that opposition is mostly hysterical??? :)


  12. As someone else suggested, this may well be a move done in anticipation of the bill NOT moving, such that the anti rights cultists have something to declare victory on.

    By most accounts, it’s likely that the votes simply aren’t there yet for HPA, so it’s not likely to pass in the near future.

    Another thing to consider is that this may be their way of trying to steer our legislative agenda: National reciprocity seems like it has a much better chance of passing, so it looks like they may be trying to goad us into backing the wrong horse — that way they can declare victory on HPA while secretly celebrating that they kept us from pushing Reciprocity when we had the chance.

  13. “But I still can’t get a good check weld on a rifle with them.” Their answer: “Why do you need a weapon designed to murderchildren?”

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