With the introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, Congress is closer than ever to removing silencers from the purview of the National Firearms Act and ensuring that every American gun owner can easily make their firearm much quieter. Suppressed firearms are not only more enjoyable to shoot, but, according to a report by the Obama administration CDC’s report on noise and lead at outdoor firing ranges, they’re the only effective way to reduce the harmful noise levels.
According to the report, the level of noise on the range tested was very concerning. It was so high that their instruments actually couldn’t accurately record the levels.
Noise monitoring results indicated that all participants’ TWA noise exposures exceeded the NIOSH REL, some exceeded the OSHA AL, but none exceeded the OSHA PEL. However, noise dosimeter microphones and electronic circuitry do not adequately capture peak noise levels above the maximum range of the instrument, therefore, personal TWA noise measurements from gunfire noise using dosimeters should be interpreted cautiously. These measurements can underrepresent noise exposure and hearing loss risk from gunfire noise. Sound level meter measurements revealed that peak noise levels during gunfire were greater than 160 dB.
The CDC looked at a number of different solutions to reduce the exposure to the hazardous noise levels in shooting ranges and arrived at the same solution as every other logical gun owner: silencers.
The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel. However, some states do not permit civilians to use suppressors on firearms.
Some gun control activists claim that noise on shooting ranges isn’t a health issue. The CDC says otherwise, and the report is right here in black and white. Are these luddites going to argue with science?