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Pruning back the unruly thicket of state and federal firearms regulations is all about incremental progress. Baby steps, if you will. It’s not the bombshell that the Heller or McDonald decisions were, but another state has taken another small step in making its gun laws more rational. With little public fanfare (although we reported on it here first), Gregoire has signed legislation scrapping The Evergreen State’s half-century ban on suppressors . . .

With her signature, House Bill 1016 added the clause “unless the suppressor is legally registered and possessed in accordance with federal law” to Washington’s long-standing ban on boomless boomsticks.  This will eventually allow patient and well-heeled Washingtonians to submit their applications, pay $200 to The Man (in this case, the ATF) and wait for their NFA tax stamp so they can spend a ton more money on a suppressor.

It’s not likely that this bill will unleash a flood of NFA suppressor applications (the process is still tedious, and cans are still damned expensive) but it hastens the day when the average shooter will start to see suppressors at gun stores and shooting ranges, and maybe think about getting one for themselves.

Too bad this bill doesn’t say anything about SBRs, short-barreled shotguns, or full autos; they’re still verboten to all except law enforcement and Class 3 manufacturers.

Baby steps.  Baby steps.

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  1. I love loud guns, and the louder the better. I don’t want my guns to sound like a lil ole 22, so I’ve got no use for suppressors.

  2. I like ’em (my blasters) quiet if possible. Ear protection on my noggin’, even for .22’s. I’ve kicked around the idea of a suppressor but, as Robert pointed out, they are salty.

    I credit years of exposure to aircraft, heavy equipment and bass playing for my wimpy ear holes.

  3. So, not entirely clear to me — if I purchased a suppressor in Oregon, with the appropriate tax stamp, sheriff’s approval and the like, am I now able to own/use it in Washington?

  4. @Sam:

    Federal regulations are incomprehensibly arbitrary when it comes to guns, as anyone who’s read 28 USC section 922(r) knows. This is not legal advice, but it is my understanding that suppressors cannot be moved across state lines without ceretain paperwork being submitted in advance.

    So you could hypothetically *move* to Washington with your suppressors (with the right paperwork) but it might not be worth it to bring them over the river for a day’s shooting.

  5. I’d love to see the control on suppressors lifted. If not for the artificial scarcity they’d be extremely inexpensive compared to what they go for now. For recreational shooting I consider a suppressor an accessory of comfort. I anticipate if the control on suppressors was lifted, we would see no change in the real-world frequency of hollywood-style assassinations and “hits”, as well as a decrease in hearing damage and noise complaints.


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