Senators Mike Lee (above) and Mike Crapo (below) have introduced the Silencers Help Us Save Hearing or SHUSH bill in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. If enacted, SHUSH would go a step further than current version of the Hearing Protection Act that’s being considered by classifying suppressors as firearms accessories.

Here’s Senator Lee’s press release:

WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act of 2017, Thursday, a bill that would ensure the elimination of all federal regulations of suppressors.

“Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year,” Sen. Lee said. “The current process for obtaining a suppressor is far too expensive and burdensome. Our bill would remove these unnecessary federal regulations and make it easier for firearms users to protect themselves.

“By properly classifying suppressors as a firearm accessory, our bill would allow sportsmen to have better access to hearing protection and preserve the hearing of sportsmen, gun owners and those who live near shooting ranges,” Sen. Crapo said.

The bill has been introduced in the House by Congressman Steve King of Iowa. You can read the Senate bill here.

The current version of the HPA would eliminate the $200 tax stamp as well as the months-long ATF processing delay, but would require a 4473-style transfer via an FFL. By classifying suppressors as firearm accessories, SHUSH would eliminate the transfer requirement, allowing over-the-counter sales just like a laser, an optic or a magazine.

Our friends in the anti-gun community have already expressed their disapproval (silent killers! stealthy assassins!) of the regulatory burden reduction the HPA would afford. Eliminating all regulation on the sales of these common-sense safety items should cause blood pressures to rise and panties to torque throughout the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex. Even if you don’t plan on ever buying a suppressor, that alone would be reason enough to support the bill’s passage.

 

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74 Responses to SHUSH Bill Introduced in Senate Would De-Regulate Silencers

  1. Would this also keep the firearms excise tax from being applied towards surpressors, or does that apply to accessories as well?

    • I believe that tax is collected on all Sporting Goods products and it goes to the state it’s collected in to preserve wildlife habitat and areas in the outdoor for recreation so it’s actually a good tax.

      • All taxation is theft. When the local mafiosos use some of their income to throw a massive street party for the neighborhood, or pay for a local kids reconstructive surgery, sure, thats nice of them. But that doesn’t mean the threats of violence and extortion they used to get those funds is a “good crime”.

        • Yes taxation is theft, but of all the taxes out there, the Pittman Robertson Act made a tax about as tolerable as I could ask a tax to be.

          The fundamental role of a government is to protect the rights of its citizens. By extension, it has a role in preventing tragedy of the commons. Separately, but equally important, it is common sense that the costs of a government service should fall primarily (ideally solely) upon the service’s users.

          The Pittman Robertson Act collects a tax from outdoorsmen whose funds go solely towards maintaining the outdoors. Thus it satisfies the roles of preventing a tragedy of the commons while collecting primarily from the greatest users of the commons. Since your purchases are voluntary, you can elect not to fund the service by not buying such goods. You really cant get more basic.

          If you want to go after taxes, go after income taxes or the ACA.

        • sorry, but taxation is not theft. You agree through your elected representative that some things must be paid for collectively. The only way that govt can do that is with taxation. Personally I think the only method of taxation should be a flat tax with no deductions or allowances for income.

        • No, unapportioned direct taxes are theft.

          Since we live in the age of Amazon, there is an easy solution:

          Subscription.

          If you don’t use it, you should not pay for it. If you want a service, you subscribe to it. Nobody should be coerced with force to support something they do not wish to support. This would reduce corruption, waste, and bloat.

          No need for the BS “flat tax” or “fair tax.”

          Subscription. Watch the leftist collectivist mob have a herd of cows.

        • Strict user fees in the place of general taxes is a step in the right direction, because it more closely aligns users of services with payment for those services. It limits free riding by those who would otherwise use a government service disproportionately. It has limits of its own, however, and is nowhere near the public policy panacea its proponents profess.

        • “Subscription. Watch the leftist collectivist mob have a herd of cows.”

          That model exists in some rural areas for fire departments.

          You aren’t *required* to pay it, but if you have a structure fire the fire department will show up, to make sure the fire doesn’t spread to your neighbors.

          That’s right, if you don’t pay, they will let your home burn.

          I hope someone who has this system could chime in, I’d like to know if they will enter to rescue people-pets, or if they will let your ass roast…

        • Whatever, Ron Paul; the important thing is it’s not a prohibitive tax, which is what the NFA is all about (first by being ridiculously expensive for half a century, then by being ridiculously difficult to pay and comply with to today). How about accepting the massive progress from “damn near impossible” to “onerous” to “mildly irritating in principle” that we are seeking to achieve here?

          It’s far more important to dismantle the excessive federal ownership of the lands Pittman Robertson somewhat helps administrate than to eliminate the tax itself, anyway

        • Shhh! Or all the “that’s where I hunt and you have to pay for my hunting” people will hear you.

        • “Strict user fees in the place of general taxes is a step in the right direction, because it more closely aligns users of services with payment for those services.”
          And that is right where insurance companies come in to lend a helping hand, in protecting people from being exposed to the costs of the services they use. That industry truly is a cancer on our society, equal to and cut from the same cloth as any other big government entitlement.

      • It’s not a good tax. People who buy guns for sport and self defense shouldn’t be forced to subsidize hunters. Hunters can pay the costs of their own damn hobby.

        • It’s not just benefitting hunters. It helps conserve fish and wildlife. It also helps maintain and preserve our wild lands.
          It also builds public shooting ranges. (I visited one near Troy, MT. Very nice free shooting range.

        • And we do. By any possible measure. We also pay for habitat restoration that everyone can use and benefit from. Our fees also pay for wildlife and fisheries management and conservation efforts. Any wildlife you see from Eagles to salamanders, we paid for. Your welcome.

      • It covers all guns, ammunition, bows, and arrows. Some accessories are included. “Firearm parts/accessories – if in knockdown/kit form and contain all components” – Financial Returns to Industry from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, pg 73.

        I don’t think silencers would be taxed under this bill, but you would still need to check with the IRS/your accountant/your tax attorney because the IRS uses insane troll logic.

  2. I think the left might actually be most concerned about shrinking gov agencies and the almighty bureaucrats losing their jobs, commies love them some massive .gov organizations

    Not a fan of classifying silen-pressors as accessories. We’ve already seen how fear mongers can take accessories like “self contained ammo dispensing and storage devices” and easily regulate them out to near extinction. Not that I can think of any other way for the USG to handle this

    • Under current law or the HPA, states can still outlaw silencers. This wouldn’t change that at all.

    • Since the bill doesn’t affect state law bans (as opposed to state taxation), California also will continue its ban. If this bill is passed and challenges are brought as to these state bans, the courts in those states will conclude that the bans are reasonable regulations of these items int he interest of public safety. I’d put money on it.

      • Which is why the SHUSH act is preferable to the HPA.

        It specifically pre-empts ALL state laws. California and NY would be told to sit down and shut up.

        • I don’t see how this bill could possibly preempt state laws. The Supreme Court has already ruled that states can impose regulations on firearms and related items.

        • “It specifically pre-empts ALL state laws.” No it doesn’t. It specifically only preempts “certain” state laws. Those state laws are the ones that require someone to go through the NFA process.

          Section 4 Title:

          19 SEC. 4. PREEMPTION OF CERTAIN STATE LAWS IN RELA-
          20 TION TO FIREARM SILENCERS.

        • “I don’t see how this bill could possibly preempt state laws. The Supreme Court has already ruled that states can impose regulations on firearms and related items.”

          You misunderstand the Court rulings. In absence of a federal law, a state can impose a regulation on any item or behavior. A court is extremely unlikely to come out and say, since there is no federal law at issue, the state can regulate this activity. In fact, if there is no federal issue*, a federal court cannot even hear the case.**

          If Congress has an enumerated power, they can totally preempt state law in that field if they choose. Silencers do fall under the commerce clause and arguably fall under other clauses, such as section 5 of the 14A and some, in not all, of the militia clauses.

          In the cases I assume you are referring to, the courts have ruled that under the 14A incorporated 2A, a federal law, the states can regulate firearms and related items to some degree.

          *A question of constitutional law is a federal issue.
          **Unless there is diversity of citizenship, but that is a side issue for the purposes of this conversation.

        • “I don’t see how this bill could possibly preempt state laws. The Supreme Court has already ruled that states can impose regulations on firearms and related items.”
          Johnathan-Houston,
          Contrary to what we’d all expect having had several allegedly ‘pro gun’ administrations with healthy majorities in recent decades, there actually hasn’t been a pro-gun bill passed at the federal level since…ever (at least, none that I can think of). Congress has never even *tried* to pre-empt a state ban on firearms stuff, yet it has the power to ban all sorts of things (uh, *WEED*, hello!) that states would rather make legal, as well as to forbid restriction of all sorts of practices & bans (uh, *JIM CROW*, how ya doin’?!) that states were very much in favor of but the federal government was opposed to. Yes, it will for sure end up at the Supreme Court because so many federal judges in the slave states are corrupted. Yes, when the second amendment is directly cited by none other than the federal government for justifying its federal ban on state gun-bans (assuming it passes one), the court will undoubtedly rule in its favor, quite possibly unanimously. Hell, they may even void the law at the same time as a moot point in light of the second amendment, lest they somehow grant “power to give/power to take” to legislators in the future.

    • Not at all. The bill merely repeals the federal tax (and currently required regulatory approvals) and abolishes all state taxation (other than sales tax). However, there is no language in the bill that “legalizes” the ownership of all such devices in all states.

      • Owen, the SHUSH Act specifially pre-empts any and all state laws that outlaw suppressors, unlike the HPA which merely removes the NFA aspect of them. Which means they would be de-facto legal in all 50 states.

        • No, see my comment above. Or the bill linked in the article. Mark is correct.

    • States would still be allowed to outlaw products they so chose including suppressors. However, there wouldn’t be a Federal database for new ones to help the state and there wouldn’t be Federal consequences.

    • Section 4 of the bill specifically amends USC 18, Section 927:

      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 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.’’.

      No force or effect.

      • Though there is huge precedent for this practice of nullifying state laws elsewhere in legal theory, it would be *very* interesting to see it applied to firearms. If the court rules in favor (as it would barring some Dred Scott type miscarriage brought about by corruption of the court) it opens the door to congress essentially reaffirming the second amendment explicitly applies to the states (similar to the “congress shall make no law” language of the 1st that technically only ever applied to the federal government) and WHAMMO! Sales of belt feds in the city of New York inside of a few hours…probably overseen by the National Guard at first a la Little Rock.

        • As I have mentioned before, any state that currently has laws on the books that infringe upon the second are exposing themselves to massive liability. States have ZERO right to infringe upon the enumerations of the first ten amendments. These are all NEGATIVE law, meaning they are explicit limitations on what the government may NEVER do. The tenth amendment A) says that anything not EXPLICITLY mentioned in the previous nine is POSSIBLY up for grabs and B) that states may make laws MORE RESTRICTIVE, never less. The language is important, since the restrictions of the first nine amendments are placed upon the GOVERNMENT.

          Thus, laws that place greater restrictions on the State governments are permissible, but can never circumvent the enumerations of the Constitution. This is a potential gold mine for litigation against states like NY, California, Mass, etc. As we have seen with the recent smackdown by the judge regarding California’s illegal attempt to ban normal capacity magazines.

      • A law requiring going through anything like the NFA process will have no force or effect. A law outright banning silencers is not covered by that section.

  3. I will be happy if this becomes law, but I would MUCH prefer if national concealed carry reciprocity passed as that has a bigger effect on my daily life.

    I just don’t understand why the NRA is pushing suppressors over reciprocity.

    • Probably because of guys like me. I would get much more use out of a suppressor for hunting than I would from reciprocity. I tend to not go places my permit isn’t recognized.

    • “I just don’t understand why the NRA is pushing suppressors over reciprocity.”

      Lower-hanging fruit.

      Call it a bit of Alinsky’s concept of ‘nudge’, but in our favor.

      If this looks like it it might pass, we need to push for SBRs and SBSs to be off the NFA as well…

    • Short answer: incrementalism

      It’s the first step in gutting the NFA entirely, but first we want to make our guns polite.

    • Because the HPA will make the lefties/anti-gun morons wail and gnash their teeth, but reciprocity is a hill they really will die on (i.e. filibuster).

      Living in a tri-state area, I would LOVE reciprocity, but I don’t see it happening.

      I suspect the HUSH is a straw-man to make the HPA seem more reasonable. That’s a legit tactic – and I’d be happy with either one.

      • “I suspect the HUSH is a straw-man to make the HPA seem more reasonable.”

        That has the smell of truth to me.

        Ask for it all, and then accept a ‘compromise’ of making them equivalent to firearms.

        That tactic may work as well on select-fire. Ask they be off the NFA, and accept a ‘compromise’ of re-opening the registry…

        • Having suppressors count as “firearms” actually has perks. A banned firearm can be challenged in court as unconstitutional and one or two more Trump nominees (fingers crossed) and the Top Court just might side with you. A banned accessory does not fall under the Bill of Rights in quite the same way.

        • Reopening the registry is a dream of mine, and hopefully before I die I’ll see it come true. (I’m only 30, so we have some time) I can’t imagine the amount of debt I’ll accrue by such a thing happening.

        • Timothy, I don’t the Supremes care one way or the other what the legislature decides to call a silencer. It either is or is not an arm under the 2A. (The recent federal district court decision out of California declared magazines arms under the 2A).

        • Or just re-open the registry via amnesty. No reason the AG couldn’t order one tomorrow, apart from he hasn’t been ordered to by the Big Guy.

        • The statute says the Secretary may declare amnesties, so I’m pretty sure Sessions can’t.

    • Since the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what laws are constitutional, and since it passes no laws, only judges those brought before it, none of its decisions can be “unconstitutional” even if wrong. so at the current time, U.S. v. Miller is the law of the land. Moreover, that decision doesn’t ban any guns, it merely concludes that the government can impose burdensome taxation and regulation on certain items. The power of the federal court to tax has long been established. I don’t know, though, if suppressors were added to the NFA before or after Miller, but it really doesn’t matter.

      • ” . . .and since it passes no laws. . .”

        “. . .U.S. v. Miller is the law of the land . . .”

        Which is it? They either pass no laws or they do.

      • “U.S. v. Miller is the law of the land.” I’d put a big maybe on that one. Though the Duncan v. Becerra decision makes a good case that it still is the law of the land, my impression of the SC’s recent rulings was that Miller was no longer good law.

        “The power of the federal court to tax has long been established.” It has also been long established that it is unconstitutional to tax a civil right. Minneapolis Star Tribune Company v. Commissioner, 460 U.S. 575 (1983) (holding a state tax on ink and paper purchased in large quantities unconstitutional under the 1A).

        • Miller was never good law. I’m actually convinced that everyone in the Constitutional Law set knew this, too, which is why they were careful not to let it be challenged too directly ever again, after the first kangroo-court case was rammed through.
          -Miller tried to settle after losing in appellate court, but FDR insisted it be brought to DC for final determination as fast as possible
          -Miller was dead and no one was there to argue his side of the issue before the court
          -Short barrel shotguns were already in military use since before WWI, in stark contradiction of the court’s primary arguments upholding it (this alone should have been justification for review of the ruling by the same court)
          -The second amendment is clearly not contingent upon service to a militia, that being merely its stated justification for purposes of ratification (spelled out rather bluntly in Heller, which also rather clearly dismantled nearly every aspect of the Miller ruling but failed to strike down the NFA)

          Despite all these weaknesses and oddities surrounding Miller, it has only been challenged a handful of times, and then only very indirectly. It’s a miscarriage of justice, same as Dred Scott was (and likely the result of similar corruption of the court by the Executive branch) and the only thing the federal courts have done is to be careful to *not* examine the matter too closely for the last century.

        • I haven’t read Miller in a while, but I thimk the holding was that the 2A applies to weapons useful to the military (or at least that’s what the judge in the magazine ban case says).

          If that is the holding, then it doesn’t conflict with Heller’s holding that self defense weapons are protected.

          The two cases together could be read to say that arms useful in either self defense or war are protected. That’s how the magazine ban judge read them.

    • Given the fanfare around the inclusion of HPA in SHARE, I figured it was a sacrificial cow to get the remainder passed (a coup if true, since Sporting Purposes reform is a far bigger deal). The ‘radical’ approach of this bill preempting state
      /local silencer bans seems similarly brash, ergo sacrificial.

      While I’ll be pissed if the (literally) most consistently-viewed bill on congress.gov for the past six months is horse-traded away like some cheap token, it will be worth it if the feint gets meaningful reform through the door in the end. Same approach in reverse as FOPA and the Hughes amendment back in the day (hopefully without the official corruption of a congressional vote, however)

  4. How many of these bills are they going to make? This is like the fourth one. Can we get an actual VOTE on one of them?! FFS I’m gonna be dead before they get this through.

    Also, I will not vote for any republican until I see actual movement on the pro gun side. We put them in and if they don’t get it done we need to take them out.

  5. If they pushed this through I’d talk a lot less shit about the Reps not getting anything done. Wow.

  6. they should’ve called it the European Regulatory Framework for Suppressors Act. it doesn’t have that catchy SHUSH acronym but it would be trollworthy.

  7. I think the NFA should be amended to require the ATF to issue a $200 tax stamp that would exempt the payor from all firearms regulations😀

  8. Crapo! I can’t believe we’re this far into the thread and nobody has brought up that name. Crapo! I know it’s low hanging fruit, but come on guys. Crapo!

  9. How about a class-action suit against the ATF and the Federal Government for claiming that their onerous programs did not protect the U.S., its government, or its citizenry. So we can all get over the elephant in the room of bullshit tactics, language, and argument.

    We need injunctive relief from the aholes that say that they can/are protect(ing) us on an individual level. As that is impossible.

  10. After reading all 73 comments, and after all the postings and comments on this blog about how politicians cannot be trusted with taxes or guns, I wonder about this SHUSH (which is a polite way of saying, “shut up!”), something just smells. Maybe I need to cut back on the Bushmills, but this whole thing looks like a way to kill a whole bunch of good laws, all at once. After that, the politicians can say, “Well, we tried. All that is over and done, and we need to move on to more important matters.”

    Of course, I am always “lasttoknow”.

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