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Suppressors are currently under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). That means suppressors may not be sold to individuals overseas, only to approved governments. Suppressors aren’t extraordinary difficult to make. Sophisticated suppressors don’t involve high technology. They can be produced by any concern with modern machinery.

The current restrictions were put in place by a memorandum from the Department of State in 2002, a few months after the attack on 9/11. While U.S. manufacturers are forbidden to sell to individuals overseas, foreign manufacturers are not. A bill was introduced in the House of representatives in 2016 to rectify this situation. It’s called the Suppressor Export Act.

Josh Waldron of SilencerCo explained some of the details of the current situation.

Do you think the Suppressor Export Act will go through in the first year?

“The interesting thing about the Suppressor  Export  Act is that we have the ability to change that in several ways.  I was appointed to President Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition.  Once the new administration is settled,  If I can use my relationships to convince the State Department to get rid of the policy memo that forbid the export of suppressors, we do not need legislation.

There never was a regulation change, there never was a comment period, there was never legislation, that made it that we could not export suppressors. There was a guy who sent out a memo saying “we are no longer going to approve of the export of suppressors.”

We are working it from all angles. Moving into Commerce takes it out of DDTC. That would be extremely helpful.   There is a three pronged approach, legislation, export reform, a relationship to convince the administration to tear up the memo.”

One man in the Department of State stopped all commercial exports of suppressors with one memo.

The memo explains why I did not notice any American “sound moderators” in a recent article about .22 sound moderators in an English shooting publication.

President Trump has often talked about unfair trade deals. This sounds like a self imposed trade limit that could be reversed rather easily.  It appears to be a problem that could be solved by another memo from the State Department.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

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  1. I have already told both my Senator and congressman I strongly encourage them to back any pro gun and shooting legislation. Being from Michigan pro gun democrats actually exist in the land of Whitetail Hunting and Waterfowl of every kind. I’ve not heard anything back from Senator Peters but I spoke with John Moolenaar on a phone town hall with several other folks given an invite. Got it from the horse’s mouth, he’s on board any pro 2ndA.

    • I’m from Michigan, too, and my obsevations about so-called “pro-gun Democrats” is that they’re mostly a bunch of Fudds. You know, they’ll say they stand up for the right to own “traditional” hunting guns, but they will balk at the idea of loosening restrictions on things like “scary black guns” or suppressors. The last Democrat I voted for was Stupak, years ago,, because the NRA endorsed him. Then he stabbed gun owners in the back. I will NEVER again trust another Democrat who says he’s “pro gun”.

  2. I hope this passes. Preferably by changing laws as to not allow unelected officials to issue memos which affect the law or commerce.

    Allowing overseas sale of American made suppressors creates jobs and provides more funding for r&d for the next generation of cans. The past few years have brought amazing advances and I would love to see that continue with more manufacturers making newer, better products.

  3. Rather than the ‘Suppressor Export Act’, how about once we get the HPA passed, we get a ‘Suppressor Import Act’ so we can get those $20 disposable aluminum .22lr cans we’ve been hearing about?

    • If the HPA passes we won’t need to import any suppressors to get then in that price range, we’ll get the adapters and just buy the cheap oil filters

      • I’ll be buying an adapter as soon as it’s not a registered item, but to be pedantic the oil filter suppressors only last a few shots and would get expensive very fast 🙂

  4. “Suppressors aren’t extraordinary difficult to make. Sophisticated suppressors don’t involve high technology. They can be produced by any concern with modern machinery.”

    That statement seems to fly in the face of whoever is running your Instagram account, with their unprofessional approach to your readership.

    Until Americans can buy a supressor over the counter IDGAF about overseas markets.

  5. It disappointments me to see silencerco using there position to act like every other politician and elitist. Advancing their own benefit and being unconcerned about who they are there to represent. Sure, worry about SILENCERCO overseas sales and opportunity before American concerns and sales. The HPA and the 2A is the main reason your there but go ahead and do what helps you first and worry about ” the people” later. I won’t be purchasing any silencerco product until I see a shift of their priorities to fighting fit what the American people want and not just what makes his pockets get fatter.

    • You are correct. In fact, it was the American firearms industry that pushed for import bans on firearms manufactured outside the USA. Bill Ruger pushed for the “ten round magazine capacity limit” when the first “Assault weapons ban” was being proposed. This “10 round limit” plagues us to this day, at least on the state level…
      The American firearms industry has a lot of explaining to do…As far as I am concerned, a portion of the American firearms industry could care less about the Second Amendment…follow the money.
      Section 922 says it all…

      • Dean, I understand your position and I am not saying that they aren’t doing other things or not involved in helping with the HPA or 2A for that matter. What I am pointing out is that when these cards fall I truly hope that they are doing these things for the “people” and not the “cash”. Time will tell where SILENCERCO’s true intentions lie and I hope that “we” see a benefit to all this 2A talk head group………

        ….but i still have a fear that like most in their shoes….it is “them” not “us”.


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