Republicans have filed a new bill that would make it easier to buy a gun supressor, sometimes called a silencer. The ingeniously titled bill is the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, which makes noise the chief concern.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan of Texas. He says supressors do not make a gun silent, like you see in the movies, but they do make them quieter which is good for hunters and their dogs.
“This legislation is about safety – plain and simple,” Congressman Duncan said after dropping the Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act on Monday. “I’m very active in sport shooting and hunting, and I can’t tell you how better off the shooting sports enthusiasts would be if we had easier access to suppressors to help protect our hearing.
“I’ve been shooting since I was a young child – beginning with plinking with a .22 rifle and dove hunting with my Dad. My hearing has been damaged because of gun noise. Had I had access to a suppressor, it may have protected me, as well as millions of other Americans, from this sort of hearing loss. This is a health issue even recognized in Europe. It just doesn’t make any sense to regulate suppressors the way we do presently. I think it certainly is questionable from a constitutional standpoint. It’s striking that even Britain, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, has no restrictions on suppressors.”
Congressional Republicans are trying to change federal guns regulations to make buying a silencer, or suppressor, easier. But critics don’t agree with the argument that the proposed legislation is a safety measure to prevent hearing injuries.
The Hearing Protection Act, introduced earlier this week in the GOP-controlled House and Senate, if passed, would still require a background check to buy a silencer, which muffles or suppresses more than silences the sound of a shot.
However, buyers would no longer have to pay a $200 fee or wait for months after filing extensive paperwork with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
What would a gun sound like with a supressor? Here is a demonstration.