SHUSH Act Would Smash All Suppressor Regulations

Gun-loving Americans across the country understand suppressors are nothing more than a firearm accessory. One that can save their hearing. And as we reported last month, there’s a bill in Congress that recognizes that fact. The Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing (SHUSH) Act (S. 1505 and H.R. 3139), drafted by the National Association for Gun Rights and sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Congressman Steve King (R-IA), corrects a number of issues with the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 367).

Under the HPA, suppressors would be treated like a firearm, subjecting them to the same Brady background check system in place for firearm purchases, including the ATF’s 4473 form.

So while you wouldn’t have to go through the even more troublesome and incredibly time-consuming application process — and pay a $200 tax stamp — that’s currently required to get a suppressor, you would still be subjected to the same government regulations as buying a firearm.

SHUSH Act supporters argue that suppressors are nothing more than accessories, the same as a scope or magazine. When announcing the bills’ introduction, Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights, stated:

If we codify into law that suppressors should be treated like firearms, it sets a dangerous precedent if gun grabbers win back the White House.

Just imagine if someone like Elizabeth Warren becomes President in 2020 or 2024 and says, “Hey, gun rights supporters passed legislation regulating suppressors like firearms. Time to do the same for other firearms accessories.”

They would have the legal precedent to serialize and register every magazine or scope in America.

The National Association for Gun Rights is also running a petition in support of the SHUSH Act with the goal of putting pressure on Congress to pass this pro-gun bill. While there is huge support for this legislation across the country, not everyone agrees that legalizing suppressors is a good move.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the claim that suppressors,

“are used to commit crimes. They are used to conceal the fact that you are firing a weapon. There will be more crimes committed– more people killed– if silencers are legalized.”

Murphy’s claim doesn’t fit the facts.

Chicago has a lot of bloodshed, including 762 homicides and more than 3,500 shootings last year, but silencers figure in little or any of it. Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, told me, “We seldom recover silencers. Sometimes you may get a gun with a makeshift silencer, but even that is rare.”

A report last year by the VPC cites a handful of shootings in which silencers were used. But the paucity of examples confirms that they are not of great interest to criminals. An earlier study by Paul A. Clark published in the Western Criminology Review found only two federal court cases involving the use of a silencer in a murder between 1995 and 2005.

While the SHUSH Act has a lot of hurdles to go through before becoming law, supporters are very optimistic. Right after his father’s election as President, Donald Trump Jr. made a very publicly advertised visit to Utah-based suppressor manufacturer SilencerCo.

While he was there, Donald Trump Jr. stated:

“[Regulating suppressors are] just another rule government wants to put in place for no reason,”

“If Europe can do it, American better well be able to do it. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

With Donald Trump Jr. voicing his support for deregulating suppressors, the SHUSH Act has a clear path to arriving on his father’s desk and becoming law.

The U.S. House sponsor, Congressman Steve King, had this to say about his bill:

“If pro-gun patriots stand strong and demand it, I believe we can get it done. With millions of pro-gun supporters and groups like the National Association for Gun Rights standing strong in support of completely deregulating suppressors, I like our chances.”

We’ll keep you updated on the bill’s progress. Watch this space.

 

comments

  1. avatar AubreyB says:

    Double edge sword. If suppressors are not considered “firearms” then they don’t have the protection afforded to them by the 2nd. And saying that, “gun rights supporters passed legislation regulating suppressors like firearms. Time to do the same for other firearms accessories” isn’t exactly right. They wouldn’t be “accessories regulated like firearms”. they would be considered firearms and regulated that way. so saying this might open up regulation of ACTUAL accessories like firearms seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Uh…bullets & ammo aren’t ‘firearms’ either and never will be, nor are magazines or any of the other ‘terrible implements of the soldier.’ If SCOTUS is willing to finally protect the RKBA for the first time in its existence, it follows that gun accessories will be similarly protected for the same reasons. As they do not currently uphold the RKBA as clearly written for any literate fool to recognize, they similarly will not protect gun accessories like silencers and magazines.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        Check your state’s definitions. In Washington State, a bullet is a firearm since a firearm is anything that shoots a projectile by way of explosive force.

      2. avatar mcgee says:

        Why do you people lose your minds about anything to do with firearms? Silencers/Suppressors being classified as a firearm will still prevent it from being obtained by criminals… if you say they get their hands on guns anyways, then what the hell is the point of having laws/regulation? No common sense.
        Criminals can and sometimes do make silencers in their garages with piping or even oil filters. All regulation does is endanger lawful citizens.

        Owning firearms, silencers/suppressors, etc. isn’t radical, it’s the intent that is. Nothing will stop intent.
        Anti-gun Europe still has crime with firearms. Your eutopia will never exist.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      “If suppressors are not considered “firearms” then they don’t have the protection afforded to them by the 2nd.”

      Pretty sure the 2A doesn’t say “firearms.”

      And we’ve seen plenty of court cases where ammo bans, carry bans, and other things were overruled by the courts on 2A grounds. It protects more than arms, such as the use, ownership, and carry of those arms. And you’ll note that “arms” includes way more than “firearms.” There have been many knife cases, in particular, won on 2A grounds.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        I’d just like to add that magazine and stun gun/taser bans have also been overturned by courts under the 2A.

  2. None of these bills are worth a damn if they don’t make it to the floor. I’m tired of getting my hopes up over lip service to the firearms community. Tell me we have real movement and not just people considering maybe talking about it

    1. avatar Cadeyrn says:

      This is the truth. The Republicans are scared of their own shadows, scared they’re going to lose in 2018.

      Newsflash: if Republicans don’t support basic Constitutional rights, they are going to lose in 2018. It was the support of the NRA and the POTG that helped drive the Republican victories in 2016. It was readers of this blog and others who gave the Republicans both houses of Congress and the Presidency and what have the Republicans done?

      Nothing. They’ve once again squandered the opportunity. They last had it between 2001 and 2007 and did little to nothing. Will it be another 10 years before they get another try? Possibly. They need to act now to protect their constituents.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        This, right here. I already told the NRA I wasn’t giving them another dime til SHUSH or national reciprocity is passed and I will not vote for a single person in office if one of those don’t at least make it to the floor.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      If you think you’re getting tired of it, imagine how the people who own and operate suppressor manufacturing firms must feel. All of this go-nowhere jaw-jacking in Washington has gutted the suppressor market, as people hear about it and figure they’ll just wait and see what happens instead of jumping through all the hoops and registrations and tax stamps to get one now*.

      * “Now”, in this context, of course means “in six to ten months, when the paperwork is approved”.

      1. avatar AubreyB says:

        current wait times are 12-13 months……….

  3. avatar Omer Baker says:

    Doesn’t matter to the people of Illinois, they’re still illegal here.

    1. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

      Regretfully, +1

  4. avatar Anymouse says:

    Rifles and shotguns are more powerful than handguns, so why don’t criminals use them more than handguns? Because handguns are concealable. Adding a suppressor makes the handgun bigger and makes concealability harder, so criminals aren’t interested. The SEALs don’t use their suppressed Mark 23’s often because they’re almost as long as an MP5SD.

  5. avatar Trump the 2A Lord and Savior says:

    EL OH EL

  6. avatar dph says:

    Who do I see about getting a job to think up catchy acronyms for bills that will never see the light of day?

    1. avatar AubreyB says:

      ah yes. consult your local populace to get elected into office. The qualifications very by state, but from what i’ve seen any nimrod can do it. 🙂

  7. avatar Bil says:

    Is everyone sure that Dudley Brown isn’t married to Shannon Watts? They both live in Colorado. His proposals are so over the top that he must be a plant by Bloomberg. Proposing no-chance-in-hell legislation is only going to help Moms Without a Clue.

    1. avatar PreferFreedom says:

      Dudley Brown must be a really deep plant, since he has been a 2A lobbyist for 24 years. His 2A group the National Association for Gun Rights has been actively getting Constitutional Carry passed in many states. Constitutional Carry started as “no-chance” legislation, and it is now the law in twelve states. Knowing this, do we just roll over and give up? No Chance!!

  8. avatar Ed says:

    Great. I wonder what committe this will die a quiet death in? I notice the scumbag NRA isn’t backing the shush act. Typical fudds. All suppressor companies should start selling mail order en mass the same day at 50% off. Sent the fuckin ATF scrambling chasing 10,000 cans tying the courts up, clogging the system. Make a complete and total mess of the NFA. Break it good so it’ll have to go away. Unamerican bullshit.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      “I notice the scumbag NRA isn’t backing the shush act.”

      Seems like you’re FOS.
      https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170718/medicines-shameful-silence-on-silencers

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Wait, are you the Illinois guy who is always spamming anti-NRA crap posting under a different name? I distinctly remember there being exactly one dude with that axe to grind regarding some failed pro-gun bill they failed to support, and grind it he would, incessantly. Every post where NRA or Illinois came up, and many where it did not, over and over again…I’d never seen a supposed gun rights guy hate on the NRA so much, well, except for Dudley Brown himself, of course.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        No,I am a former NRA instructor who got fed up with them acting like vultures, begging me for money every couple of days at best. All the while getting absolutely no meaningful pro gun bills passed and still supporting fudd politicians simply by the letter in front of their name. I’m the guy who gives my money to NSSF and GOA. Funny, they don’t see the need to call me and e-mail me weekly begging for more money. The NRA doesn’t care about our gun rights, just their pockets.

  9. avatar Never Down says:

    TTAG isn’t being strong enough in criticizing the inaction of Trump et al. on advancing firearms rights legislation. This isn’t rocket science and the Republicans and Trump should be all over it…. yet, nothing.

    1. avatar Trump the 2A Lord and Savior says:

      No no no, see it’s coming… just need to be patient. Trump loves guns. Just ignore everything he said about guns in books he wrote. What he said on the red hot campaign trail in the lead up to the election is the truth, not what was in the books.

      He will pass an NFA repeal. He has a 2A commission after all.

      It’s true. The 2A crowd in the comments on TTAG told me so.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Thanks for reminding me about Trump’s “Second Amendment council” or whatever they were calling it. I seem to recall that was announced to much fanfare around these parts, and here we are eight months later with a deafening silence on the subject.

        It seem as though looking to Trump for leadership on this or any other issue is a recipe for disappointment. It doesn’t matter if he really does support the 2A or not, because he’s too fucking ADHD to focus on any one goal long enough to accomplish anything. He (and the Republicans in Congress) don’t seem to have the stomach to actually fight for any of the things they promised when it was election time. They’d better find at least *one* thing they can deliver on soon, or 2018 is going to be a massacre when all those disappointed voters don’t show up at the polls. Without the Hillary boogeyman, they’re going to need something else to drive turnout, and delivering something pro-gun would be a good step in that direction.

  10. avatar barnbwt says:

    Hey, lookit! HPA is once again showing (3rd place) on the congress.gov website’s most-viewed bills. Been in the top ten since it’s introduction, along with Concealed Carry Reciprocity, unlike every.single.other.bill that’s been introduced so far (I notice even the vaunted healthcare omnibus fell off the list after it’s pathetic failure; it had a good run, but much shorter)

    So, totally no widespread interest or support in these gun rights initiatives; total loser deal for anyone who sticks their neck out for them. We’ll never turn out the base in 2018 unless we pretend to try fixing healthcare, tax code, immigration, trade, or start another land war in Asia.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    SHUSH will be passed right after Obamacare repeal and tax reform.

    1. avatar Noway says:

      So, Never then. Got it.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        As soon as there are 65-70 Republican Senators because they need at least five more than a filibuster proof majority because of defectors.

  12. we sould not have to go thru a BC to buy a can, you don’t go thru one for a scope. the suppresser should be treated like a scope. no 4473, no background check. I cannot hurt someone with a suppresser or a scope so why the background check? who is the congressmen trying to make happy.? why do they think it is good to still have more regulation? aren’t we bourdened with enough already?

    1. avatar jimmy james says:

      Exactly…the only way you could conceivably kill someone with a suppressor is to beat them over the head with it or cram it down their throat. I’ll buy one when they are $200 over the counter.

  13. avatar Anner says:

    Any word on if the SHUSH act keeps the HPA language of refunding all tax stamp money sent in after Oct ’15?

      1. avatar Anner says:

        Thanks!

        I see two notable points:
        1. No refund. Dammit.
        2. It preempts state laws that would otherwise not allow interstate transfer on a suppressor. Does this mean I can travel through Illinois with a can in the trunk, as long as I originate and travel to a state where it’s legal?

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          1. The bill states “In the case of the tax imposed by section 5811 of such Code, the amendment made by this section shall apply with respect to transfers after October 22, 2015.” This would mean that anyone who paid a tax stamp on a silencer after 10/22/15 would have paid a tax they didn’t owe. I’m not a tax lawyer, but I do know you can get money you overpaid back under some circumstances.

          2. This bill does nothing to preempt laws like the one in Illinois prohibiting possession. Whether or not it would make the transportation of silencers through a state like Illinois depends on if a silencer is considered as part of the firearm.

          A strict reading of FOPA would not protect the transportation of a silencer (if this law passes), ammunition, or magazines. To answer this question, one would need to find out how “illegal” accessories are treated by the courts under FOPA. For example, “high capacity” magazines in California or hollow points in New Jersey.

          Federal firearms statutes are codified in Chapter 44 of Title 18 of the United States Code. Definitions are found in 18 U.S.C. § 921, for example.

          Chapter 44 definition of firearm: “The term “firearm” means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.” (Part (C) would be struck by this law).

          FOPA: “Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.”

  14. avatar CueBaller says:

    SHUSH Act Would Smash All Suppressor Regulations

    What about the 8 states that outright ban the possession and use of suppressors?

    Without complete preemption, this accomplishes nothing for gun owners in those states.

  15. avatar Burley says:

    Of course a statist says that suppressors are used to hide a crime. Statists believe that any act a private citizen commits with a firearm is a crime.

  16. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    “They would have the legal precedent to serialize and register every magazine or scope in America.” This and every argument like it are stupid. If the gun grabbers have enough support to do something, they’ll do it. It doesn’t matter if there is any precedent. There wasn’t any precedent for the NFA, GCA, or the Hughes Amendment. The only precedent for the Clinton assault weapons ban was the Hughes Amendment.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Even if they did start taking such extreme actions, the political backlash at the next Election Day would annihilate them. Nov 16 saw a swing of over 1000 seats at state and federal levels. Not that the GOP has done much to capitalize on that, save appointing Gorsuch.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Not that the GOP has done much to capitalize on that.” Which means any gun control passed, would stay in effect.

  17. avatar sound awake says:

    next up short barreled rifles

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