WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and a group of 25 Senate colleagues reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). The bill would reclassify suppressors to regulate them like regular firearms.
“Guns with suppressors are still very loud, just less likely to cause permanent ear damage,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Anyone who thinks suppressors are movie ‘silencers’ clearly has never shot with one. This legislation is for sportsmen and recreational shooters.”
“The Hearing Protection Act will benefit Idaho’s sportswomen and men by ensuring they have access to adequate hearing protection while hunting and participating in other recreational shooting sports,” said Senator Crapo. “Law abiding Americans enjoying the recreational freedoms provided under the Second Amendment should not have to wade through overly-burdensome regulations in order to protect their hearing.”
Suppressors are currently subject to additional regulatory burdens under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The HPA would remove suppressors from regulation under the NFA and replace the overly-burdensome federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check. This process would make the purchasing and transfer process for suppressors equal to that as for a rifle or shotgun. Also, the HPA would put more funding into state wildlife conservation agencies by taxing suppressors under the Pittman-Robertson Act instead of the NFA.
Cassidy and Crapo were joined by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Boozman (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), James Lankford (R-OK), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Ted Budd (R-NC), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Katie Britt (R-AL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
The Hearing Protection Act is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the American Suppressor Association (ASA), Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
On average, suppressors diminish the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels, roughly the same sound reduction provided by earplugs or earmuffs. The most effective suppressors on the market can only reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to around 110-120 decibels, which is roughly equivalent to a jackhammer.