Sup­pres­sor own­er­ship no longer sup­pressed

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

Here’s some good news for peo­ple who like to shoot.

Sup­pres­sors have been fed­er­ally reg­u­lated since the pas­sage of the Na­tional Firearms Act of 1934. But a move to make it eas­ier for gun own­ers and sports­men to pur­chase sup­pres­sors in the 42 states where it’s le­gal to buy them is on the hori­zon.

The Hear­ing Pro­tec­tion Act (H.R. 367) is pick­ing up trac­tion in 2017. It was re­cently in­tro­duced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), co-chair of the Con­gres­sional Sports­men’s Cau­cus, along with U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who is also a mem­ber of the CSC. There are 43 co-spon­sors of this bill.

A sim­i­lar bill was in­tro­duced in 2015, but never made it out of com­mit­tee de­spite sup­port from many out­doors or­ga­niza- tions. Things are chang­ing in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., though, a city no­to­ri­ous for the red tape that keeps every­one, Democrats and Repub­li­cans alike, from mak­ing mean­ing­ful progress on just about ev­ery­thing.

The HPA is leg­is­la­tion that makes sense for the 21st cen­tury. De­spite the fact that this pro­posed leg­is­la­tion has only one Demo­crat signed on as a co-spon­sor, mak­ing it eas­ier for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans to pro­tect their hear­ing re­ally should be a bi­par­ti­san is­sue.

Many hun­ters and recre­ation- al shoot­ers suf­fer sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to their hear­ing over the years from gun­fire. High qual­ity and af­ford­able sup­pres­sors are avail­able from sev­eral ven­dors. Now it’s time to make it eas­ier for gun own­ers and sports­men to prac­tice their sport and own the right ac­ces­sories to do so in the safest man­ner.

Hol­ly­wood has de­picted sup­pres­sors as tools for ne­far­i­ous and evil-do­ing crim­i­nals. But sup­pres­sors don’t ac­tu­ally si­lence a gun­shot. They are more like muf­flers for firearms. Sup­pres­sors sim­ply re­duce the noise of gun­fire by about 20 to 35 deci­bels on aver- age, which gen­er­ally re­duces the sound of a gun­shot to a level where it won’t dam­age the hu­man ear. Not only do sup­pres­sors pro­tect the shooter’s hear­ing, they also re­duce the noise that of­ten both­ers peo­ple who live near shoot­ing ranges and hunt­ing ar­eas.

Un­der this pro­posed act, a per­son will be able to pur­chase a sup­pres­sor from a fed­er­ally-li­censed firearms dealer af­ter pass­ing the stan­dard Na­tional In­stant Crim­i­nal back­ground check. The peo­ple who are pro­hib­ited from own­ing firearms won’t be able to pur­chase a sup­pres­sor.

For law-abid­ing cit­i­zens, this means no more NFA forms, fin­ger­print­ing or cre­ation of le­gal trusts, lengthy de­lays, as well as the cur­rent cost of the $200 tax stamp. In fact, if this law passes, it might put some money back in your pocket if you pur­chased a sup­pres­sor af­ter Oct. 22, 2015. The HPA

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