by Guy J. Sagi – Monday, February 13, 2017
The Hearing Protection Act of 2017—H.R. 367, introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and John Carter (R-TX)—resurrects a 2015 proposal by then-Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon to ease suppressor ownership restrictions on law-abiding citizens.
For more than 80 years, suppressors have been exiled to a list of National Firearms Act (NFA) items created in 1934—when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. Ownership of suppressors is generally legal, but qualifying to take one home requires onerous and time-consuming requirements such as, but not limited to, fingerprints, photographs, notifying your local chief law enforcement officer, a background check and a $200 tax stamp.
The Hearing Protection Act, in simplest terms, aims to eliminate the tax stamp and effectively reduce the six-to-nine-month wait—in the 42 states where ownership is legal—by requiring only a NICS background check and a 4473. The bill, as currently written, also refunds money to those who started the purchase process while legislation was pending. It sounds like an easy victory, considering the current administration, but it’s too early to put this one in the win column.
The ground game is ongoing, with the latest proposals—H.R. 367 and S.R. 59 (Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID, co-sponsored by Jerry Moran, R-KS, and Rand Paul, R-KY)—introduced on Jan. 9, 2017. Both would remove suppressors from NFA listing, and they have garnered 97 and 7 co-sponsors, respectively.
The House version has been referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. Ten Republicans and 7 Democrats make up the current membership, though, it’s particularly good news when coupled with the number of sponsors and the fact the entire voting body of the House has 435 members with 240 of them Republican.
The Senate side, on the other hand, is where […]