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Reader Adam S. writes:

There has been lots of talk of possible gun bans, 2A-violating laws, and executive orders since the unfortunate incident in San Bernardino. Incidents like that always make people skittish. Will our rights be revoked? Are more attacks coming? Panic buying hasn’t ensued as it did after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, but people are still on edge . . .

While all the negative gun press swirlingin the news there are actually some positive bills in the House of Representatives, too. The Hearing Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 3799) was introduced in October and is gaining support. It currently has 39 co-sponsors or strong supporters of the bill [38 Republicans/1 Democrat]. Matt Salmon [R–AZ] penned a beautiful title to the bill because anyone who votes against it will sound like a villain to the American public.

If it passes, you will no longer need to cut the ATF a $200 check to buy a suppressor. Also, silencers will be removed from NFA regulation and treated as a “traditional long gun.” No more trusts needed, chief law enforcement officer signatures, 3 – 6 month waits…none of that. Just pick out your favorite can at a retailer, fill out a standard 4473, and be shooting it the same day.


A used market could open up as a side effect of this legislation. Right now, if you want to sell your hunting buddy your silencer, you can, but you have to transfer it to him via the same 3 – 6 month process you went through when you bought it along with another $200 check to the ATF. That’s why you rarely see used silencers for sale.

Also, similar to the way hundreds of machine shop AR companies sprung up in 2013 when the black rifle market was peaking, you might see the same cottage industry spring up if silencers were treated as long guns. That can only mean lower prices to end users.

It may be some time before the bill comes up for a vote, but it is still great to see some positive legislation coming down the pike.

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  1. Another thing worth mentioning, if you do decide to forgo the wait on buying a new can, any can bought after Oct. 15 will have the $200 tax stamp payment refunded once this bill is voted into law.

    • About time!

      It’s amazing the European countries that allow poeple to easily buy one, while we do not. Why wouldn’t they want us to make less racket?

      It would be much less disruptive toward wildlife!

      • No country in the civilized world has such a high rate of hearing loss from recreational shooting as the US. Shouldn’t we adopt the laws of the EU about common sense hearing protection? For the children?

      • This is one of the most overused and dumbest arguments and it just keeps getting brought up over and over again. You like European gun laws? You wants to has the silencers? Head on over there and enjoy using it on all the guns you can buy over there… oh wait.

        • Point missed. Even with Europe’s antigun laws several of them *require* you to use silencers. It’s freaking PPE and the fact that the NFA taxes safety equipment to keep it out of the hands of the poor is disgusting.

        • The comment I responded to only stated that it was “easier” to buy them over there. Also lets be clear, the government does not force you to buy them, many shooting clubs require them for membership. All that is irrelevant though because in Europe, where it is even legal, you go through as much or more of a headache to just buy a gun, any gun, than we go through to buy a silencer. Once you have the government’s blessing to buy a gun you are subject to even more regulation on caliber, type etc etc etc. So congrats you get to silence whatever is left after all the hoop jumping. I would be willing to bet that if it wasn’t such a difficult and needlessly restrictive process to get a gun in Europe then it would be much harder to get a silencer. It has nothing to do with safety or the government caring about the citizenry.

      • I would find a silencer particularly useful on my HD rifle. Why should I have to live with permanent hearing loss, should I be compelled to discharge my WoW in the confines of a narrow hallway?

        Notice how silencers are never used in the commission of crimes. And it’s not like criminals can’t get them. You can make one with materials from Home Depot or from a Fram oil filter.

  2. Less then 10 percent of the House supports this bill at this time. I’m far to cynical to believe this bill will become law. $200 a pop on I don’t know how many a year is a lot of money for our Government to let go. I hope I’m wrong.

      • Correct. As I recall any legislation that reduces fed “income” or increases outgo must be “paid” for. A poison pill.

      • A 10% special sales tax on sound suppressors without a federal stamp would more than make up for the shortfall in volume as nearly everyone who shoots more than twice a year buys one or two.

        • It’s be nice if legislation like this either didnt threaten the atf’s existence or did somehow pound the nail in there coffin for being corrupt and inept. As long as the atf sees a bill like this as a threat and they have power to fight it and a good portion of the anti’s want to keep the atf around, then the atf is gonna do what they can to squash it.

    • It won’t. What will happen is 41P will hit in about three weeks, and suppressors will be *harder* to get.

      Whoever thinks that the HPA is going to go anywhere, is riding unicorns.

      … And yes, I want it to pass.

      But it won’t. And we’re going to get 41P instead.

      Call me a pessimist if you want….

  3. As much as I want to see this come to fruition, I fear Chiraq (and some other municipalities, states) surrounding suburbs will find some means of restricting this.

    • IANAL, but I really doubt it. Repealing a federal tax on an item does not mean it is legal in all places, just that it is no longer taxed. OTOH, if it really would be treated like a long gun, you could just buy one in a neighboring state and claim nobody ever told you it was illegal, and why is it illegal?

  4. Why does a can have to go through 4473? It has to be mounted to a gun to start killing people on its own.
    NRA should organize an event inviting all antis and make them shoot a 50BMG without earpro, and ask them really loud how they like it

  5. Neither of the guys in pic shooting rooster has cheek on the stock…a likely miss. I know as I miss all the time.
    I have 3 NFA Stamps apps submitted 3 months ago…hope this passes and I’ll get my $600 back.

  6. On the other hand, this was submitted on 16 Dec 2015, seems like nobody was paying attention.

    A BILL
    To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    This Act may be cited as the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2015”.


    (a) In General.—Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

    (1) by inserting after paragraph (29) the following:

    “(30) The term ‘semiautomatic pistol’ means any repeating pistol that—

    “(A) utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round; and

    “(B) requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.

    “(31) The term ‘semiautomatic shotgun’ means any repeating shotgun that—

    “(A) utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round; and

    “(B) requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”; and

    (2) by adding at the end the following:

    “(36) The term ‘semiautomatic assault weapon’ means any of the following, regardless of country of manufacture or caliber of ammunition accepted:

    “(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:

    “(i) A pistol grip.

    “(ii) A forward grip.

    “(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.

    “(iv) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.

    “(v) A barrel shroud.

    “(vi) A threaded barrel.

    “(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

    “(C) Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.

    “(D) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:

    “(i) A threaded barrel.

    “(ii) A second pistol grip.

    “(iii) A barrel shroud.

    “(iv) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

    “(v) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.

    “(E) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

    “(F) A semiautomatic shotgun that has any 1 of the following:

    “(i) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.

    “(ii) A pistol grip.

    “(iii) A fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds.

    “(iv) The ability to accept a detachable magazine.

    “(v) A forward grip.

    “(vi) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.

    “(G) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

    “(H) All of the following rifles, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:

    “(i) All AK types, including the following:

    “(I) AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM.

    “(II) IZHMASH Saiga AK.

    “(III) MAADI AK47 and ARM.

    “(IV) Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S.

    “(V) Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS.

    “(ii) All AR types, including the following:

    “(I) AR–10.

    “(II) AR–15.

    “(III) Armalite M15 22LR Carbine.

    • I read the whole bill, it’s disturbing to say the least. There’s lots more to worry about than what’s just copy-pasted above.

      The bill includes a ban on all semi-automatic handguns with capacity >10 rounds and reclassifies them as “semiautomatic assault weapons” and puts a 10-round capacity limit on all magazines for all weapons.

      Good thing we have a Republican-controlled Congress so this bill hopefully goes nowhere.

    • Nobody’s paying attention because it will get exactly nowhere and die in committee. The Hearing Protection Act is actually showing some movement.

  7. Suppressors are illegal in MA, but the legislature did hold hearings earlier this year regarding their possible legalization. I’m not holding my breath, although any time I’m near a MA politician I certainly should.

  8. Hey All. Just read two articles on suppressors/silencers over at Huff and Salon. It appears that the Hollywood belief that they make firearms completely silent and somehow more deadly seems to be the common opinion.

    • That’s why we ought to do some public demonstrations with them to dispel the ‘pew-pew’ myth…

      Or even better, have the silencer industry association do some prime-time commercials educating the public.

  9. I was reading that bill and thought that someone was posting CA laws

    Also, why would you need to fill out a 4473 for a silencer? What’s next, a 4473 for all firearms accessories? Mags, foregrips (That I can’t have here in CA)? Gavin Newsom’s Safety for All Criminals act will require background checks at the point of sale for ammunition. A check CA has testified in court (Silvester v Harris) that >20% of the time for firearms purchases CA DOJ cannot complete instantly

    This country has gone full stupid

  10. It will be vetoed out of spite unless attached to some piece of ‘must pass’ legislation, and probably even then. Will it have enough steam to override a veto? Probably not.

  11. Heck one of the reasons suppressors are expensive is that $200 stamp, so the market insists on them being really high-end, durable pieces.

    If they’re sold without wait or tax stamp, then $50 .22LR cans that you can pitch when they fill up with lead will be common.

  12. I contacted my US Representative (Eshoo) and both my US Senators (Boxer and Feinstein). I checked the box for a Health issue, and sent messages like this:

    Senator Feinstein,
    I strongly support S.2236 and H.R.3799, the Hearing Protection Act of 2015. Please join with Sen. Crapo of Idaho to co-sponsor this measure.
    In Sec. 4 this text preempts state laws regarding taxation or registration. That wouldn’t help us in California, where possession of these health and safety devices is prohibited.
    In order for this bill to be effective, please amend the text of this section to also include preemption of state laws regarding (1) possession of silencers (CA P.C. 33410), and (2) firearms able to mount silencers (CA P.C. 30515(a)(4)(A)).
    Again, thank you for sponsoring this measure!

  13. Dan, don’t say there’s good news on gun laws unless there’s good news on gun laws. Especially right before 41P is about to become the law of the land.

    There is no good *news* in this article, just a lot of wishes.
    There is NO WAY that any gun friendly federal legislation will pass under this administration.

    Suppressors are about to become HARDER to get, not easier.

    The HPA is a pipe dream. Even if it sailed through both the house and the senate (which it won’t), it’d be loudly and proudly vetoed.

    I still have two Form 4s in the wind. I’m just hoping that bureaucracy slows the ATF enough so that I will be able to take advantage of my last chance ever to get a can.

  14. This is all “warm and fuzzy”, but before you get all excited about this “Bill”…….check out the Bill put forth by the Congressman from Rhode Island.

    If THAT Bill………….H.R. 4269 goes forward……..there won’t be any guns to put suppressors. And don’t think that it won’t go through. While everyone is DISTRACTED by all the garbage going on within the political circus, it’s possible for “them” to rip the 2nd Amendment right out from underneath ALL OF US.

    You know……and I know…..that ANY FORM OF GUN CONTROL is ILLEGAL within the U.S., according to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution………but so is Obamacare. They got that through just fine.
    And there is not a SINGLE Congressperson who is raising hell about it…….at all. This “Bill” is the exact type of tyrannical legislation that was passed in Australia. THEY TOOK ALL THE GUNS. At first…? NO. But then they came back and got EVERYTHING.

    Molon Labe.

  15. Be sure to read your state laws on owning silencers. Almost every state says you can only own a silencer purchased through the NFA process. If the NFA process goes away, silencers will become illegal in your state. The federal law will need to change and each state law will need to change. Credit for this observation goes to NSSF VP Larry Keane during a recent seminar.

    • That’s correct. Many many states are “affirmative defense”; where suppressors are illegal as a rule, with the exception of having a “permit or license” as an “affirmative defense”; the NFA tax stamp has been interpreted as said “affirmative defense.”

      Without the NFA tax stamp and process acting as a “permit or license”, they become felonies to possess under state law.

      The messed up thing about that is that you can be arrested on an affirmative defense issue, and held until your affirmative defense is proven. So if you’re out at the range with your silencer, and don’t have the ATF paperwork with you, you can absolutely be hauled off to jail until you can prove that you have said stamp/permit/”license”.

      This is not only in “slave states” — Texas is an NFA affirmative defense state.

      Historically, affirmative defense is as good as legality, but there’s always the possibility case law could re-interpret the NFA tax stamp as not a “license”. (Permit to manufacture, transfer? But not possess? IANAL.)

      So if the HRA passed, you’d have to still have to go through the ATF/NFA process to own a suppressor, even in Texas.


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