menendez silencer suppressor ban
(AP Photo/John Locher)
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Guns are useful, versatile tools. They’re owned by about 100 million Americans and help people protect themselves, put food on their tables, and just have fun. One drawback, though, is they’re loud.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could invent something to reduce the sound they produce?

Just think of it. If guns could be made quieter, shooting them would be much safer for everyone involved. People who live near gun ranges wouldn’t be bothered as much. If a homeowner had to fire a gun inside their home in self-defense, they wouldn’t also have to risk permanent hearing damage.

Oh, wait. Someone has invented just such a tool. Way back at the beginning of the last century. But because of bottomless ignorance, never-ending prejudice, and a surplus of elected asshats who watch too many movies, suppressors in the U.S. are strictly regulated, heavily taxed, and take months to purchase.

In other words, the federal government actively disincentivizes their use, no matter how obviously beneficial they may be. Some states even outlaw them altogether.

After the failed attempt to pass the Hearing Protection Act back in the early days of the Trump administration, another version of the legislation has been introduced in the House this session. No one really thinks it has any chance of passage given Democrats’ control the Senate and the fact that it’s someone’s job to guide Grandpa Joe’s hand toward the veto line of bills that make sense.

Still, it’s nice to see that the American Doctors of Audiology — a group of medical professionals who actually care about Americans’ hearing — has come out in support of the act…for jaw-droppingly obvious reasons.

Here’s a press release from the American Suppressor Association . . .

The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), an independent medical group that focuses on evidence-based practices in the delivery of audio-vestibular care, has circulated a letter to Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) supporting the deregulation of suppressors through the Hearing Protection Act. Their rationale is simple: suppressors are a tool that can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other hearing damage.

“As an independent medical group, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology has absolutely no vested interest in suppressors outside of the positive impact that they have on hearing conservation,” said Knox Williams, Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association. “Their endorsement of the Hearing Protection Act, which would give law-abiding citizens improved access to suppressors, highlights the importance of these tools when it comes to firearms safety. We applaud ADA for putting this letter together and actively supporting hearing conservation.”

Here’s the letter the ADA sent to Reps. Duncan and Crapo . . .

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  1. Audiologist Group Supports the Hearing Protection Act…Why Doesn’t Everyone?

    because members of the Audiologist Group have supresors and are tired of the senseless and illogical inclusion in the NFA, and not everyone wants a supressor or cares to have one?


    • California prohibits suppressors for the common man. Only the State and its team is allowed here. Because we have – as Dan puts it – a “surplus of elected asshats who watch too many movies”.

  2. If they was legal I might pay $50.
    For now I’ll just stick with ear muffs or foamy’s.

      • Same here, now. If silencers weren’t so heavily regulated I think most everything would be integral and I’d have a hell of a lot more hearing left to protect.

    • That’s one of the few firearms-related things that Europe gets right. Not only can you buy them over the counter (supposedly just off the rack in blister packs), they’re often treated as legally required safety equipment for hunting.

  3. Well in Chiraq the Dims invoke memories of gangsters in the roaring 20’s. “Only criminals need silencers” or so the Dimwits believe. So silencers are verboten in ILLannoy…

    • And ranchers complaining about poachers using silencers to shoot their stock.

      Any subsonic round would be inaudible after a reasonable distance.

  4. Well I love loud Rock and Roll and shooting Loud Firearms so my ears take a workout. That said I refuse to jump through anymore hoops and waste money and time on anything beyond a 4473. A 4463 is more than enough to own a bulbous half azzed muffler for a firearm. Having to pay, wait and jump through more ridiculous hoops shows the ignorance behind those who get off on treating citizens like children in need of supervision. Never mind super silent electric vehicles criminals can use to sneak up on someone and run them down, etc. Where’s the politician hoopla and background checks with those stealth weapons of war?

  5. The ADA must not have gotten the memo. Rest assured, by hook or by crook, they’ll be brought back into the fold.

  6. Everyone should be in favor of ending contradictory, illogical nonsense. Especially when it costs real money and time to administer.

    Send fingerprints and mugshot to a system that already has them, pay $200 for the privilege to wait 12+ months and maybe they’ll let you take home your tube that could decrease your rifle report to the oh-so quiet level of a lawnmower running.

    Keep in mind the crazypants NFA is a product of a world not nearly as clownish as todays.

    • 9 months for my latest one…and that was with e-forms – that was touted to reduce time to 90 days
      but then they decided they had to take care of the backlog of PAPER Form 4s
      It is what it is…

  7. some people can’t tell the difference between reallity and fictional TV and movie stories. Some people resist any and all loosening of firearm restrictions. I know of at least one silencer manufacturer/seller who has built his business on the ATF approval process and doesn’t want to change. (Actually lobbies his state’s congressional critters to oppose such legislation.)

    Mostly, the average citizen gun owner just doesn’t care.

    My bad, the question was rhetorical.

    • “…lobbies his state’s congressional critters to oppose such legislation.”

      Hmmm, Larry’s NSSF dollars at work? Say it isn’t so, Larry…

    • I have an acquaintance who owns 24 automatic weapons of various types, including one MG42, and 30 something cans, he routinely contacts his Senators to remind them never to repel the 86 ban on new sales. He claims he has over $300,000 in them. He says it will hurt his “investments”. His whole Machine Gun Club is against the idea of repel for the same reason. Total Tactifudd.

      • I am an investor. Maybe I should consider this industry in addition to my typical but boring software, database, and consumer goods choices? Might even be better than all those gold coin hawkers say.

        I’m still looking for gold coins stamped with a double image of “the bird” on the front, and the words, “Dear Government…” underneath.

      • Most machine gun owners I know are all for the repeal of NFA. Yes, their $40k M16s will be worth maybe $2-3k. If they wanted them as investments, they could have cashed out years ago at 10x their purchase price, but they’d rather have them than the cash. if NFA (or at least the Hughes Amendment) were repealed, they could buy as many as they wanted.

        • Anymouse, Who do you know that owns a “machinegun”? Psst! An M-16 (it’s really an AR-15) is not a “machine gun”.

  8. It’s simple. They’ll never give an inch. Your best argument or reasoning doesn’t matter. The best we can do is outnumber them and force this through against their will. (The Left understands that strategy. The Right doesn’t.) These people are still pretending like there was a conspiracy with Trump and Russia to win the 2016 election. They’re the ones who have been caught using the power of the state to interfere in every election since 2016 in a major way. You will never be able to reason with these people.

  9. Glad to hear (no pun intended) those audiologists support the unregulated ownership of suppressors. Now, if only they would support a ban on muzzle breaks.

  10. “If a homeowner had to fire a gun inside their home in self-defense, they wouldn’t also have to risk permanent hearing damage.”

    The ‘Armed Attorneys’ YouTube channel mentions a warning concerning using a suppressor for self-defense –

    If, in any way, your shoot was found to be illegal, the full weight of the law will come down on your head for the crime of using a suppressor (even a legally-registered one) during the commission of a crime.

    You had better be certain your shoot is good… 🙁

    • ^^^ This^^^
      Hearing aids are cheap. 20 years to life in a Federal penitentiary is expensive.

    • I love Emily, but their advice is strictly from a defense attorney standpoint. They advocate against getting training or rendering aid because a loony prosecutor could use it against you. They have to deal with lefty prosecutors in Dallas or Houston, I’m in a jurisdiction that is rational, so I’ll train so I can win a fight and use a suppressor to protect the gearing of myself and my family.

  11. quote———– No one really thinks it has any chance of passage given Democrats’ control the Senate and the fact that it’s someone’s job to guide Grandpa Joe’s hand toward the veto line of bills that make sense.———quote

    In reality it was Paul Ryan Republican speaker of the house that said the prior bill would not even be brought to the floor for a vote.

    Ryan’s reason for trashing the prior bill was that the Republicans back then and now are already in enough hot water for refusing to pass Universal Background Checks, a Federal Red Flag Law and Federal Safe storage laws.

    And the propaganda about hearing protection rings hollow (pun intended) because a secret device unknown to the average ignorant Right Winger is called “ear muffs” or “ear plugs” or a combination of both.

    Silencers would also make hunting accidents more common. Lets face facts the average hunter is usually not the brightest person in the woods but when he hears gunfire he knows there are other hunters close by and to take precautions he does not shoot them instead of the quarry.

    Silencers would be like manna from heaven for the gang bangers and every one of them would have one to commit murders and robberies.

    Far Right maniacs would love to commit mass murder with them as well as they could wipe out an entire crowd of people with one before they even realized they were being shot at. I once witnessed an M16, yes a real M16 full auto equipped with a sawed off barrel and a .22 rimfire conversion kit with silencer. You could only hear the bolt moving back and forth as the high capacity magazine was emptied. I shudder to think what a maniac could and would do with one when he let loose on a crowd of people who would not even realized they were being shot at.

    • Gang bangers already use illegal/stolen guns and illegal parts…why would they not already have silencers? Not that hard to make or obtain…especially from China. Glock switches? Solvent traps?
      But it makes hiding a gun harder.
      They are pretty effective already at mass shootings/killings.
      Keep defending your homies.

      • Leigh, I have some very bad news for you. You can’t buy or have an M-16 rifle. ROFLMAOBT! God save us from Leftists, Fools, and Anti-Gun Radicals. And not necessarily in that order.

  12. Really?

    It is settled science that suppressors/silencers defeat ShotSpotter systems, and make it impossible for people in the vicinity to even know shots are being fired. This means there are no witnesses to someone with a silencer killing people on the street. This means LE can’t find out “which way did they go”. Silencers mean someone can be shot dead in a crowd, and no one in the crowd knows what happened. And silencers are even unfair for hunting. Not being able to hear a shot means animals can’t flee from danger, until the danger is right at hand. Silencers provide unfair advantage against animals, who already cannot shoot back. If so-called “good guys with guns” (which does not include LE) want to go hunting, or use their guns in the one-in-a-zillion chance of saving their lives, they should pay a price for doing so; loss of hearing. Now that I think about it, hearing protection becomes part of every firearm, and would fall under the ATF’s authority to regulate such accessories as machine guns.


  14. Would like a gun muffler. Have dealt with all the Bureaucratic BS I want too. Pissed away enough money on fees, taxes and assorted government payments.
    When I can just go buy one with minimal foolishness I will. Until then I’ll support legislators and candidates who at least make a pretense of supporting sensible legislation.

  15. Why worry and waste time with things you know aren’t going to happen right now?

  16. Too many myths out there.
    People associate silencers/suppressors with assassins and criminals.
    Too many believe they make guns absolutely silent.
    Imagine if cars and motorcycles had no mufflers. Yikes!
    They could at least streamline the process. Especially for those that already have NFA items.
    No reason it should take 9 months (my latest wait time) when I already have multiple suppressors already.

  17. I would be happy if they streamlined the process.
    First time you do the prints and photo and go through the long check…after that there should be a record of you on file that you willingly accepted to initiate.
    Subsequent purchases you provide photo and prints but when they instantly match you get your item much faster.
    Yeah…makes way too much sense for ATF to implement.

  18. So the original reason given for regulating suppressors…or so I have heard…was to prevent poaching of wildlife during the depression era.
    That seems to be a non-issue these days. At least here in most of the USA.
    Now it is more about crime and criminals.
    We have instant (well…almost) checks for gun purchases. Why can’t it be used for the accessories, too?

    • Leigh, have you ever heard of the Second Amendment? For our edification, none of your “suggestions” would effect criminals.
      A suppressor does no make it impossible to detect that a gun have been fired. It does muffle the sound, but it is still detectible.
      Those so called “instant checks”? They are useless. It seems that criminals don’t go to the gun store to buy a gun.
      Please do us a favor and try to develop some common sense?

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