During the 2016 presidential election, President-elect Donal Trump repeatedly emphasized his support for the Second Amendment. But I don’t recall any mention of gun mufflers, silencers, or the Hearing Protection Act.
But the forcefulness of the attention he paid to the Second Amendment is having implications beyond gun rights per se. The President-elect is setting the tone, and people are beginning to get in line.
The Hearing Protection Act, or HPA, was filed by Matt Salmon of Arizona, a consistent stand-up guy where the Second Amendment is concerned. Salmon is retiring this year, but the HPA will likely go forward in 2017. The bill reforms the current archaic restrictions and regulations on silencers in this country. Those restrictions are holdovers from the 1930s and never made any sense.
The rest of the world doesn’t share America’s fear of suppressors. Elsewhere, silencers are regarded as a useful safety accessory, something that neighbors appreciate because it reduces noise pollution.
In Europe, silencers are far less regulated than they are in the United States. In New Zealand, a 12-year-old can walk into a hardware store, pay about $20, and walk out with a perfectly serviceable silencer.
Before Trump’s election, the HPA didn’t appear in the top ten of the most viewed bills before Congress. Following the election, in the week ending November 13th, the Hearing Protection Act was the second most viewed bill on the congressional web site. And it has been in the top three every week since.
Make no mistake, Congresscritters pay attention to these sort of things. Here is the link to the site that tracks the most viewed bills, if you want to see how the bill does in the weeks ahead.
The HPA is common sense reform legislation that is long overdue.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.