Governor Greg Abbot has signed HB 1819 into law on May 26th, 2017. The law goes into effect on September 1. The law makes Texas safe for silencer ownership if/when the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. This is important because the Texas legislature only meets every two years.

The law removes silencers from the list of devices that are required to be on the BATF registry for NFA items, now only requiring that people who own, manufacturer, transport, repair, or sell silencers in Texas be in compliance with federal law.

From state.tx.us:

or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:

(1) any of the following items, unless the item is
registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer
Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives or classified as a curio or relic by the United States
Department of Justice:

(A) an explosive weapon;
(B) a machine gun; or
(C) a short-barrel firearm; [or
[(D) a firearm silencer;]

(2) knuckles;
(3) armor-piercing ammunition;
(4) a chemical dispensing device;
(5) a zip gun; [or]
(6) a tire deflation device; or
(7) a firearm silencer, unless the firearm silencer is
classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of
Justice or the actor otherwise possesses, manufactures,
transports, repairs, or sells the firearm silencer in compliance
with federal law.

(e) An offense under Subsection (a)(1), (3), (4), [or] (5),or

(7) is a felony of the third degree. An offense under Subsection (a)
(6) is a state jail felony. An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a Class A misdemeanor.

The definitions of the above items are already defined in Texas law, so there are no changes there. For example, armor-piercing ammunition only applies to pistol ammunition.

Some legislators in Texas are taking the passage of the HPA as a serious possibility.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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28 Responses to Making Texas Safe for the Hearing Protection Act

  1. Should’ve also passed Constitutional carry. The way things are moving now through Congress I don’t think we’ll see the HPA pass any time soon neither. At least we did get state law set if and when it does pass.

    • The starting point in unwinding the NFA is the SBR rule, not the silencer rule. The SBR rule is the weakest link because you can’t justify (or intelligently defend) arbitrary SBR restrictions within a society that allows handgun ownership. I’d rather see something successfully changed on the NFA front, than nothing at all, and that’s what you risk by going after silencers first…going after silencers first is the wrong strategy.

      • I would love to see the NFA changed also. I just got an SBR stamp in after a 10 month wait. In my opinion the first thing to go after is the Hughes Amendment of 1986 (or whenever) first and get full-auto purchases back the way they were before that nonsense. We erode that first and the rest will fall in to place. Folks don’t support that. Full-autos aren’t the latest rage in the nail shops in Saigon at the moment. What they do support is the HPA passing and later SBR(s) / SBS(s). Why? Because Hollywood makes them so damn cool is why. “Silencers” are cool to have now and there has been justification worked up that makes it difficult to argue against. Personally I can care less about the HPA, but I hope it passes IF it is indeed passable but it’s NOT my preference.

        Unfortunately I understand the Heller-based lawsuit against the Hughes Amendment filed by the GOA a short while back never gained any traction. I wish they, or somebody else, would try again.

        The bottom line in Texas is to get Constitutional carry passed before the sate possibly turns blue. This is what is most important in Texas right now.

      • “The SBR rule is the weakest link because you can’t justify (or intelligently defend) arbitrary SBR restrictions…”

        Sure you can, people do it all the time. The arguments don’t have to make sense, they just have to generate enough of the right type of feelz.

        • You’re missing the point, its a lot easier to “generate the right type of feelz” (and encounter more resistance) around suppressors because they’re for assassins, and hit men, and drug dealers, and serial killers. Quit being an Archie Bunker and focus on the message. I’d rather see something accomplished on the NFA front, than nothing.

      • I disagree. Something called “The Hearing Protection Act” is a lot easier sell than the “Allegedly Concealable Rifle Decriminalization Act.”

        • Maybe you’re just bad at coming up with names? How about the “Civil Rights Restoration Act” or something with affordable, disadvantaged, or something that appeals to typical class warfare nonsense?

          I do have to admit that “Allegedly Concealable Rifle Decriminalization Act” is as accurate as it is funny.

    • “”Tire deflation device” means a device, including a caltrop or spike strip, that, when driven over, impedes or stops the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more of the vehicle’s tires. The term does not include a traffic control device that:
      (A) is designed to puncture one or more of a vehicle’s tires when driven over in a specific direction; and
      (B) has a clearly visible sign posted in close proximity to the traffic control device that prohibits entry or warns motor vehicle operators of the traffic control device.” – Just google “Texas Penal Code Chapter 46”

  2. I can’t wait till it gets out to a vote. I don’t know if it will pass, BUT, if it doesn’t, then we’ll know exactly where each RINO stands by forcing them to vote on it. I already know mcstain and demgarham will stand firm with democrats in opposing it. I see this passing the house. The senate, not so much.

  3. That’s not how the bill passed as written they changed the wording so it took out all ambugity about the mossberg shockwave too it’s says any firearm not needed to be registered by federal law is good to go in Texas look it up

  4. This also cleared up the confusion and legalized the Mossberg shockwave and Remington tac14 in Texas.

    • No mention made of SB 1408, which sailed through the Senate and was left begging for a calendar slot after getting through the House Committee. Another two years of medics/EMTs and firemen getting shot at…

      Also, I noticed a few interesting tidbits:
      1) assuming Abbott signs, first time license holder will be able to spend even less money on their course, using 50 rounds of 22 instead of having to bring something more expensive.

      2) in light of the failed bills, I wonder if Paxton will revisit his opinion letters that allow a private event at a public-owned convention center to ban firearms as contrary to legislative intent.

    • That’s actually a Winchester 1894 with a Maxim Silencer on it … and it belonged to Teddy Roosevelt.

  5. I dunno if the HPA will pass but I give it better than even odds simply for the fact that major left-wing newspapers are writing articles that amount to lighting their hair on fire and running around screaming about the end of days.

    • The louder the media screams bloody murder, the more I know we are doing the right thing.

      The left still hasn’t fully comprehended what happened to them last November. They are utterly baffled as to why we have no problem with the way Trump is running things.

      I’m fully inclined at this point to just let them rant and rave amongst themselves.

      There was an article in the ‘Atlantic’, I think it was a few days back. The gist of it was that the self-proclaimed ‘elite’ didn’t emphasize with middle America, and it was gonna cost them next election cycle.

      Well, no shit, Sherlock. The Left hates middle America, and that attitude isn’t going to change, the same as our attitude about *them* won’t be changing. Political polarization getting stronger, and that’s the new normal.

      I think we will get the HPA. We have the juice in the Senate, and the filibuster is dead. Trump knows just how red this meat is he could toss to the base…

      • The filibuster is not dead. McConnell said he would never get rid of the filibuster on legislation. He said that Gorsuch was getting an up or down vote. I have a lot of problems with McConnell, but usually keeps his word.

        The question is will the HPA come to a vote on the Senate floor and will the Democrats filibuster it. If they filibuster it, the leadership will just give up.

  6. If HPA does get through, it’ll be the first, and probably only buying frenzy in my lifetime that I will be more than happy to sit through. With the AR/AK pistols, and Shockwave/Rem14(or whatever it’s called) being what they are, I think removing SBR law would’ve been an easier sell. There’s no reason for felony convictions for adding a piece of non-functioning plastic to an otherwise legal gun.

    If the left really wants to have a hissy fit, lets remove Hughes and see what really happens. I’ve got some PDW’s on my list of “I’ll never get to own one”.

    • Hughes? I wish, but nah — too many R’s even, still feel that the 2A is about “your right to hunt”, “who needs FA to hunt a deer “..,

      Trust me, if that happened it would be “Please, take my money”, even to HK who hates me because I suck —

      but I really think that’s a unicorn bridge too far.

      • Not if we use the same sleazy tactics that got the Hughes Amendment passed in the first place. We just need someone willing to use those sleazy tactics.

  7. Neat. In CO we’re still screwed on affirmative defense if the HPA passes.

    Suddenly it’ll be impossible to get the “federal permit” (interpreted as a Form 4 + tax stamp) that is the “affirmative defense” to possession being a felony.

    With the legislature stacked “D” this won’t be lost on them.

    I really hope I’m missing something but in affirmative defense states (and i do not believe that CO is the only one ; Texas USED to be one too), the HPA will make all future suppressor purchases no-go ;

    I guess I’m glad I got 4 of ’em before 41P.. But that’ll probably be the last.

  8. Doesn’t the HPA have language that would take care of this issue?

    “SEC. 4. PREEMPTION OF CERTAIN STATE LAWS IN RELATION TO FIREARM SILENCERS.

    Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a law of a State or a political subdivision of a State that, as a condition of lawfully making, transferring, using, possessing, or transporting a firearm silencer in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, imposes a tax on any such conduct, or a marking, recordkeeping or registration requirement with respect to the firearm silencer, shall have no force or effect.’.”

    Basically, a state cannot require a tax stamp or registration. It could just ban them. There would be lawsuits over this.

  9. The BATF is an unconstitutional organization. It’s rules are no law at all since only Congress can make law, see A1 S8. Governor Abbot should sign the bill and make the silencers legal in Texas. The legislature should also make a prohibition on all Texas LEO, courts and state officers on assisting federals in enforcing their gun “laws.” The question remains- when are the big bad ass gun groups,owners and politicians going to grow the size balls the weed people grew to get marijuana legalized in their states. Makes you wonder who really loves liberty and who are armchair warriors.

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