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With the introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, Congress is closer than ever to removing silencers from the purview of the National Firearms Act and ensuring that every American gun owner can easily make their firearm much quieter. Suppressed firearms are not only more enjoyable to shoot, but, according to a report by the Obama administration CDC’s report on noise and lead at outdoor firing ranges, they’re the only effective way to reduce the harmful noise levels.

According to the report, the level of noise on the range tested was very concerning. It was so high that their instruments actually couldn’t accurately record the levels.

Noise monitoring results indicated that all participants’ TWA noise exposures exceeded the NIOSH REL, some exceeded the OSHA AL, but none exceeded the OSHA PEL. However, noise dosimeter microphones and electronic circuitry do not adequately capture peak noise levels above the maximum range of the instrument, therefore, personal TWA noise measurements from gunfire noise using dosimeters should be interpreted cautiously. These measurements can underrepresent noise exposure and hearing loss risk from gunfire noise. Sound level meter measurements revealed that peak noise levels during gunfire were greater than 160 dB.

The CDC looked at a number of different solutions to reduce the exposure to the hazardous noise levels in shooting ranges and arrived at the same solution as every other logical gun owner: silencers.

The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel. However, some states do not permit civilians to use suppressors on firearms.

Some gun control activists claim that noise on shooting ranges isn’t a health issue. The CDC says otherwise, and the report is right here in black and white. Are these luddites going to argue with science?

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    • Yes, they will. Except they don’t even know what “science” is.

      To an anti-gun liberal: science = opinion and the only valid science is THEIR opinion

    • Ha!

      True, but that cuts both ways.

      Pandora’s box opened by both sides – Science is disregarded openly by millions of folks. Lord help us.

  1. I shoot often so I have some tinnitus and hearing loss as a result. The silencer ban in my state contributed to the damage, I’m certain of that because I certainly would have taken precautions. ‘Ear muff’ protectors don’t cut it, nor do ear plugs. If you care about consumer safety, you would demand silencers on every gun.

        • It’s actually possible if you rig the cylinder mechanism to close onto the forcing cone, eliminating the cylinder gap. But the only production revolver to have ever done it is the Nagant 1895, and they cheated by using extra brass in front of the bullet to finish the seal. While a revolver that actually sealed its cylinder to the barrel would be impressive, the mechanism would be like clockwork and therefore prone to failure. Revolvers already being more material heavy and mechanically complicated than semiautomatics, that would only further serve to disadvantage them in the market. Also if that requirement were retroactive (fitting an old revolver with a new mechanism would be prohibitively expensive if not impossible) or universal (a snubby with a silencer would just be the dumbest thing ever) it would effectively be a ban, yes.

          Unless silencers were completely deregulated, in which case it wouldn’t be hard to figure out some kind of inexpensive, disposable cylinder-cone interface gasket. Under the current law, however, such a gasket is an NFA item if you stick it in your gun (and the proposed law for that matter — a $0.02 gasket being subject to a $15 background check wouldn’t do anyone much good.)

        • I actually can see if the HPA passes, that the American {preferably) gunmakers would show their engineering ‘chops’ and develop an updated Nagant 1895 mechanism for modern revolvers.

          *That* would kick off a nice gunmaker manufacturing boom.

          And I could also easily see if the HPA passes that outdoor ranges may *require* cans be used.

          …and I never in 1000 years would I have ever believed I would sincerely be saying… “Thanks, Obama, for that CDC study!”

  2. Yes, they will argue against it. I’ve already seen people claim FBI, CDC, and other reports were bought by the NRA. This will be no different. They will still be wrong at the end of the day.

    • Do you ask them if that means that Obama was in the pocket of the NRA since those reports were commissioned and issued during his tenure? Might be fun to watch the heads explode.

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking.

        I seem to remember quite a bit of whining from the Obama administration since they claimed that the NRA was preventing the government from studying gun-related issues. Apparently, that too was lie!

        • Heh.

          “Just mention ‘Ban Assault rifles’ a few times during your presidency.”

          “Mention ‘close the gunshow loophole’ at least once every two months”

          $$$ – paycheck

  3. A good part of the reason that I now have the sensory cable implanted and am going through the healing process, waiting for the final stages of a Cochlear processor to be hooked up!

  4. That study was done at an outdoor range. Just imagine what their finding would be at an indoor range. I generally double my hearing protection indoors.

    • Me too. Unfortunately, I don’t think the HPA will help with the guy in the next stall shooting a .44 Mag DEagle with a muzzle brake!

    • I double up on hearing peotection, too, but what gets me more indoors isn’t so much the sound, but the pulse. Dividers between stalls are often only nominal, in that they’re there, but the provide no real shock wave absorption. The blast from othe people’s guns can give me a headache.

  5. Supressors are going to dampen the noise from concussive damaging levels, to only jackhammer noise damaging levels, and yet antigunners have a problem? Is anyone surprised?

  6. ‘Some gun control activists claim that noise on shooting ranges isn’t a health issue.’

    But they sure will bitch about the noise when they move out of the city and want to close down a range thats been open for decades.

    • These are the same people who phone in noise complaints about the Sears Point racetrack … even on the weekends when there are no races, practice or trials being run. (Ghost cars! Ghost motorcycles!)

  7. I’ve been starting to wonder, recently, whether Mr Obama hasn’t secretly been a friend to firearms owners all along.

    Consider. He encouraged firearms sales … He helped convince Ms Clinton to double-down on gun control … He got this study done …

    Perhaps TTAG should name him gun hero of the year. (But let us know first so we can make some popcorn and queue up the 1812 Overture for when heads start exploding.)

  8. People against the 2nd don’t care about gun owners health. Freedom of choice is a corner stone of democracy. Yet these people who spit on the 2nd would love nothing more than to control people’s lives with just perceived choices authorized by the state.

  9. CDC only suggested them with the assumption they would continue to be expensive & hard to get, and could be an avenue to shutting off range access to unsilenced guns.

    If noise is a safety issue, perhaps Kali /etc need to lift their ban on muzzle loudeners (brakes)

    • In CT, the “featureless” ARs sold between 1994 and 2013 all had stupid “brakes” which do little braking but lots of loudening, because using a regular A2 flash suppressor would have made the rifle all assaulty.

      • Well, at least they did not have those awful bayonet lugs, right? Manoman, I’d hate to be bayonet lugged, wouldn’t you?

  10. Even if removed from the NFA still illegal in MA, we’d then have to fight at the state level. You’d think in a crowded place like MA they’d care about less noise. But guns!

    • I suspect that somewhere down the road, President Trump will order his DoJ to sue the States violating the 2nd Amendment with their stupid anti-gun laws, especially Kommiefornistan. You know which other ones.

      • I can see that CDC study actually making suppressors legal in Cali.

        Cali, of course, will require suppressors at gun ranges…

  11. Ah, but you don’t understand. See, this study was for government employees instructing other government employees who carry firearms for their job. These highly trained professionals are the only ones professional enough to be trusted with silencers.

    (And honestly, it’s probably a good thing it was limited in such a fashion. Can you imagine liberal areas not outright shutting down a shooting range, but instead pointing to this and saying, “you need a silencer (and all the additional regulatory hoops that accompany ownership of one) if you want to shoot here”? After all, it’s good for the neighbors and it’s good for you, how can you complain?

  12. You don’t understand, in my state (Commifornia), the politicians who make the laws enjoy dishing out humiliating and harmful punishments to those of us who dare to possess the instruments that could be their downfall. If this study was brought up in a legislative hearing in Sacramento, those douchebags would say, “Good, losing their hearing is a apt punishment for those redneck mass shooters in waiting”. We will never legally possess suppressors in this state.

  13. Yeah these anti-gun activist that’s a noise levels aren’t bad on gun ranges are the same as hats that called in and complain all the time because there is a outside gun range two miles from their house and all they can hear is pop pop pop pop pop pop all day long. They’re the same ones that complain about airliners flying over their houses and scaring their dogs and cats. But who cares about the law-abiding citizen that is trying to save his hearing or the instructor that is teaching gun safety and the proper way to shoot a firearm who needs hearing we have sign language right LOL. Time to grab the bull by the horns and get suppressors taken off the NFA list and abolish the ATF.

    • Abolishing the ATF as a separate agency is pointless and dangerous unless you first abolish the legal requirements of the tasks currently performed.

      Can you imagine if Homeland Security were in charge of NFA approvals?

  14. Why does it take millions of dollars for a government agency to come to this conclusion. This is like common sense after you have heard a gun with and without a suppressor.

  15. Train the way you fight. Are you going to have a silencer on your EDC gun? If not you shouldn”t be using a supressor because it will change the characteristics of your defense pistol.

    • If I “trained the way I fight” i would own one rifle and one pistol. I wouldn’t own any scope beyond a red dot, and I most certainly wouldn’t own any calibers other than 9mm, 45ACP, or .308. I guess I’d also give up hunting, unless I became skilled in hand-to-antler combat with a rutting buck.

      It’s a nice dogma, but in fact is way too restrictive for most shooters. And BTW, I do have suppressors on some of my household and carry guns. And in fact, I carry more than one different EDC depending on circumstances – that really violates the dogma, I know.

      • Unless you live and work in a rural environment you will almost certainly be fighting with an unsurpressed hand gun no matter what you wish you had. I will buy a silencer for my EDC when someone makes an internally supressed handgun in an easily concea label package.

    • Well, for HD both my pistol, and quick-access SBR are suppressed. I train with both of those ‘as is’ (as in with Suppressors in place). I’d get a Salvo for the shotgun if it wouldn’t make maneuvering in the house with it a near impossibility. 🙂

      Also train without as the truck gun, my EDC, most of my longer range stuff, while being able to accept a suppressor, are not usually adorned so. Though I have put a suppressor on a very long-barrel target rifle to take to the range. We got jokes about cheating as it was “two yards closer’ than anyone else 😉

  16. We need to introduce the : ” Abolish the illegally construed BATFE to protect gun owners act ” . This throwback from the Federal Alcohol Administration was NEVER authorized by Congress , Period full STOP. The FAA was declared unconstitutional in 1935. By Treasury sleight of hand ( Color of Law ) new names and functions were created, resulting in a tax collector on liquor becoming a firearm regulator. ( A legal fiction and constructive FRAUD ).
    It’s time to correct the record and end the big ATF lie. — BTW , only the First Sale of an IMPORTED firearm is taxable , if we follow the law that is. — More here :

  17. OSHA says that the max level for 15 minutes, or 1/4 hour, is 115dB. That drops to 105dB for an hour. Beyond these limits hearing damage will occur.

    In other words without earpro and/or silencers, according to OSHA, there is no safe amount of time to be exposed to the sound of gunfire.

    Hey look, that stupid 30 hour class did teach me something! Now, who wants to talk about working in confined spaces?!

    • I have had all the OSHA confined space training I ever want.

      *YOU* try dragging Resusci Anne out of a 24 inch hatch in the side of an 30,000 gal tank while wearing a full acid suit and SCBA gear in 100 F heat and steam.

      You quickly gain an appreciation for what firefighters do…

      • I’ve actually had to do similar things but without the acid suit. They suck. Badly. The worst are some of the rescue scenarios they set up for diving. I understand they want to make them harder than real life but Christ did they take some of that too far.

        Honestly though, I’d rather do pretty much anything rather than sit through a 30 hour set of power point presentations on safety practices, take 15 quizzes on the topics and two exams.

  18. Democrats will oppose decriminalization of silencers because they KNOW silencers make guns more likely to wander off on their own and kill people.


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