suppressor silencer
Jeremy S for TTAG
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Silencer Central has rounded up support for a new bill that was introduced in Congress yesterday that would divert tax stamp revenue from the sale of suppressors to the Pittman Robertson conservation fund, to fund shooting ranges, and to ATF’s NFA Division to cut Form 1 and Form 4 approval times.

They’re calling the bill the Tax Stamp Revenue Transfer for Wildlife and Recreation Act. Silencer Central’s honcho Brandon Maddox tells TTAG that the bill has bipartisan backers on both sides of Congress.

You can read the bill here.

Here’s the backers’ description of what they’re trying to do . . .

Under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), all applicants are required to pay a $200 tax stamp as part of submitting a background check and transfer application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In recent years, revenues generated by the tax stamp have grown 40% annually, and total revenues generated are expected to approach $200 million in 2023.

Under current law, this funding is deposited into the U.S. Treasury without any specific direction. Under the Tax Stamp Revenue Transfer for Wildlife and Recreation Act, funding would be strategically allocated to both expedite ATF processing and support wildlife conservation and recreation. Specifically, 15% of the total revenue would go to the ATF’s NFA division, aimed at expediting the processing of suppressor applications within a 90-day timeframe. The remaining 85% would be split further: 85% would be allocated to the Pittman Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund to support wildlife conservation, law enforcement, hunter recruitment, and other related activities, while 15% would be earmarked for the development, maintenance, and operation of recreational shooting ranges. These dedicated ranges enhance safety, reduce environmental impact, and contribute to the recruitment and retention of ethical hunters and shooters. Recent data shows that a significant portion of Pittman Robertson funds are generated by recreational shooters, indicating that more ranges would further bolster conservation funding.

While suppressors continue to become more popular, the extensive registration and processing paperwork can lead applicants to waiting close to a year for approval by the ATF—despite the Bureau’s recent implementation of an electronic form portal for processing applications.

The North American model of wildlife conservation is the most successful of its kind in the history of the world. The fundamental premise of the model is that hunters and anglers voluntarily participate in a ‘user pays’ system. America’s sportsmen and sportswomen have generated historically high federal receipts and duties from equipment sales into conservation programs. However, according to the Treasury, revenues for these programs have declined by double digits in recent years. 

Suppressors are increasingly popular accessories that improve ballistics, enhance accuracy, reduce recoil, and alleviate hearing impairment while reducing user conflicts. Suppressors are one of the most vital and effective tools to recruiting and retaining new demographics of hunters and shooters, particularly women and young people, to shooting sports. 

The Tax Stamp Revenue Transfer for Wildlife and Recreation Act would further such opportunities and build upon our rich conservation heritage by increasing conservation funding and enhancing the capacity and efficiency of the ATF and FBI in the processing of applications for suppressors.

The additional funding for Pittman Robertson is obviously a sweetener to get “moderate” and red state Democrats to support the bill. How many that will convince is less than clear.

‘But wait,’ you say. ‘How do we know that processing times will improve if tax stamp money is shoveled at the ATF?’

The bill has language giving the NFA branch a 90-day window, much like the three business day processing limit the FBI has for NICS background checks. Under the bill, if ATF fails to process a Form 1 or Form 4 within 90 days, the retailer could then choose to complete the sale and deliver the suppressor.

Not everyone is a fan of Pittman Robertson. While supporting conservation and wildlife preservation is very motherhood and apple pie, those funds come from the only tax on the exercise of a constitutional right that’s imposed in America. That said, the bill would supplement P-R by redirecting $200 tax stamp revenue that’s already being imposed and collected as part of the National Firearms Act.

Don’t expect the bill to get very far. While the drafters have obviously put some thought into features designed to give it the broadest possible appeal, we’re in an election year with a mostly dysfunctional Congress. While it might be possible to get something like this tacked onto another bigger, “must-pass” bill, the chances seem…slim at best.

 

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40 COMMENTS

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    • Novel idea. Eliminate the need for permission from an Alphabet agency. Thus removing the added expense on taxpayers and those wishing to own a suppressor.

      • Disgusting idea that provides standing to continue on with a scheme where big brother took a right away from the people only to sell it back to the people. Instead of burying the 2A deeper in the muck how about burying the stamp scheme and let the people put their $200 toward a soot muffler, wetlands, singing kumbaya, etc?

  1. Nice but a bill has to get through congress, then the senate and then Biden would have to sign it and that’s not about to happen.

    However, that gets it introduced and it can be used as a bargaining chip, if the repubs are smart enough and have the nuts to do it.

      • Given that it will change absolutely nothing (taking stamp tax revenue out of the general pool just means less of the general pool supports the expenses earmarked in this bill), it could give Biden an opportunity to say “Look, I’m better on 2A than my bumpstock-banning predecessor!” – to a rousing chorus of approval from the false-moral-equivalency tards.

      • “…. which is also why it has ZERO percent chance of making it into law.”

        We do what they do, tie it to a piece of legislation (like the budget appropriations) that *must* pass. They can’t argue against it, since nothing else changes.

        With everything on computers nowadays, especially criminal records, there’s *zero* reason they should be not be required to get that paperwork expedited in 90 days, max, anyways…

        • Actually, the 90 days should be a “do it or die” scenario for them, where if the can’t find a reason to deny the stamp, they should be required to issue it… 🙁

  2. Nice trap to pacify poors & encourage compliance with unconstitutional registration. Miss me with this BS.

  3. The attitude of most democrats and the gun ban lobby is: “ATF processing delays are a feature, not a bug,and the longer it takes for people to obtain these devises that they shouldn’t have in the first place is a good thing.”

    [Not that it makes any difference to me, living in a total ban state where I expect I will never be allowed to buy one.]

    • “The attitude of most democrats and the gun ban lobby is: “ATF processing delays are a feature, not a bug,and the longer it takes for people to obtain these devises that they shouldn’t have in the first place is a good thing.””

      Why it oughtta be 90 days, max to deny you. If they can’t find a reason to say no in 90 days with computers everywhere, then the stamp is automatically issued.

      (And fear not, California, New York and others will in the not-distant future be required to process that paperwork for you. There are legal teams working to do that, right now, using the ‘Bruen’ doctrine…)

      • Other than reduced funds for spending on fishing & hunting improvements in CA & NY the residents of these states won’t benefit from from faster processing. It’s illegal to possess suppressors & SBR’s in the states. If they no longer are covered by NFA NY & CA residents can possess them.

        • “It’s illegal to possess suppressors & SBR’s in the states.”

          One more time, at least *try* to read with an emphasis on comprehension :

          Thanks to ‘Bruen’, in the not-distant future, there is a very good chance we can force Cali, NY State, and the other slave states to issue NFA stamps to their citizens…

      • I really have to call bs on the 90 day thing.
        They have 3 business days to deny the purchase of an actual firearm so why should they get any longer to deny an accessory? Especially when they require a photo and fingerprints.

  4. “Specifically, 15% of the total revenue would go to the ATF’s NFA division, aimed at expediting the processing of suppressor applications within a 90-day timeframe.”

    It’s the same background check that is not only completely feasible to accomplish in three days, but was feasible to accomplish in three days with 1994 networking and connectivity.

      • I’m not thoroughly versed in NFA matters, but everything I’ve heard from those who are says it’s the same. Serious question: what is the difference that makes it slightly more difficult?

        • As I understand it, it’s a bit more in-depth, but not by much.

          Considering how *everything* is on computer theses days, NFA approvals ought to be complete in 3 days time… 🙁

  5. How does more money expedite things?
    Same way it fights climate change I suppose.

    If we must suffer the process at all a simple 4473 and a NICS check is all that should be required.

  6. While it might increase competition for suppressor mfg’s it would significantly increase demand for them if they sue the DOJ because the suppressor article of the NFA is unconstitutional because suppressors are “In Common Use”. Per Heller if an arm is in common use the government power is limited to regulating bearing in “Sensitive Places”. Caetano v. MA quantifies “Common Use” as greater than or equal to 200,000 in the people’s possession. Per the ATF’s list of registered suppressors in civilian possession there are more than that just in Texas.

    • There are more than 200,000 transferable select-fire weapons in circulation, currently…

      • There is approximately 175,000 that are registered to civilians, the rest are registered to state & local agencies. Machine guns will not be deleted from the NFA is by going to federal court challenging the Hughes amendment to the FAOPA based on Bruen. This should work because there is no distinctly similar analog on or before 1868 (14th amendment ratification). The Hughes amendment to the 1986 FOPA that closed the machine gun registry clearly doesn’t meet Bruen. After SCOTUS declares the registry closure inconstitutional new an used unregistered machine gun sales will explode so the ATF will be flooded with registration forms & $200 tax payments. The ATS most likely will use form1’s. Once the number registered to civilians someone will have to sue the DOJ to strike the NFA text re. machine guns. The ATF probably won’t comply with the request wo/a plaintiff filling a lawsuit in federal court.

        • Yes, a lawsuit citing ‘Bruen’ as the reason will re-open the select-fire registry, because I really want me a belt-fed-weapon… 🙂

        • I’ve fired machine guns, its fun but I personally don’t really want to own one. But now a days, with the Biden government ‘weaponized’ against law abiding gun owners (and actually in many aspects against all Americans gun-owners or not)… the specter of them wanting or being able to apply when they desire their ‘newly created/revived excuse’ of ‘constructive possession’ for even holding just-to-look-at an NFA item without having a tax stamp your self is something that needs to go away and the NFA needs to go away too.

  7. Of Oregon’s six US Representatives, only my district’s (Bentz, R-2) and one other (Blumenauer, D-3) let me ask for their support. The others blocked me because I live outside their district. The good news is that Rep. Bentz sits on both the Judiciary and Natural Resources Committees, where this is assigned.

    Is there a companion bill in the Senate? Congress.gov didn’t show one.

    When you embed a link in a story, please trim the Facebook tracker from the URL. That’s everything beginning with “?fbclid=”

  8. election year posturing at best. Lets not forget that Mitch and Company sold us out a couple years back.

  9. Yawn
    Let’s introduce a bill for bottling unicorns while we are at it
    They can’t even agree on a bill to steal money so….

    • Unicorn is better canned. In wide mouth jars.
      with a pinch of salt. a clove of garlic and a hunk of onion. That’s my grand mammys recipe

  10. I am not on board with this. You don’t make the government (departments/agencies) more efficient by giving them more money. That’s how you expand the government. This sounds more like a payoff. Money is power. How did Fauci wield so much power? Check out the budget for NIAID for the answer. Who in their right mind wants to give the ATF more power? We should be defunding the ATF.

    When the other side wants something, you make sure you get something in return. You either gut the NFA (let’s be real – not likely), or you limit how long the ATF has to conduct their background checks. This never happens because it isn’t a priority.

  11. I have a far better idea:
    how’s about just deregulatng these desirable health and safety protection devices?

    These same clowns MANDATED universal use of breathing protection devices that were worse than worthless.. did not perform as advertised (could not possibly limit transmission of their custom made virus, AND provided deleterious unwanted health hazards as a result of their use) and here on the other hand they strictly regulate and ban in many places the use of a simple safe effecive mechanical device to greatly reduce a known hazard to hearing in the humans that use these devices.

    Which side are they on anyway? Yeah, I know.. the side of “CONTROL”.

  12. It wasn’t too bad for me on my can purchase. I bought it 1/08/21 and had my Trash Panda in my hands 06/17/22

    It’s wrapped with a Burn Proof Gear Heavy cover and looks baaaaaaaaaaaaaad assssssssssss on my .300 pistol SB Tactical Arm Brace. Cry me tears ATF

  13. A niche bill for a niche thing for a large purpose is unlikely to get serious consideration for passing with extremely subjective language like this > “Suppressors are increasingly popular accessories that improve ballistics, enhance accuracy, reduce recoil, and alleviate hearing impairment while reducing user conflicts” > in a world where the left wing is arguing against “improve ballistics, enhance accuracy, reduce recoil” in the name of banning common semi auto firearms by using false terms such as ‘assault weapon’ and contrived data and they can take the $200.00 and do anything they want with it including further funding the weaponized ATF to continue to project tyranny. There is no upside in the bill for the left wing tyranny Democrats, you seriously think they care about the Pittman Robertson conservation fund and funding shooting ranges? Y’all know the democrats already want to do away with the Pittman Robertson conservation fund (AKA … repeal the Pittman-Robertson Act) and flow the money to Bidens ‘white house office of gun violence prevention’ right?

    The bill is written to fail.

    • “Silencer Central’s honcho Brandon Maddox tells TTAG that the bill has bipartisan backers on both sides of Congress.”

      Until it comes to actually voting on it, then the democrat side of the aisle is not going to be so ‘bipartisan’.

  14. Equipped with modern computer systems and it takes over a year to get a suppressor ownership approved, what? They have three people in a basement working on this.

  15. for those that asked about the nfa background check.
    since they get your fingerprints and personal information they run your data through every database they have, that includes interpol, military and foreign sources.

    unless it changed in the last 20 plus years only 3 legally owned machine guns were recorded to have been used by the owners in a shooting, one of whom was a law enforcement officer.
    yes, Miami shooting had registered guns but they were stolen.

    information from Dan Shea and his excellent research for his machine gun dealers Bible back in the 90’s.

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