The new congressional session may still be young, but the American Suppressor Association (ASA) is hitting the ground running. On Monday, with support from the ASA, Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and John Carter (R-TX) reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act.
Originally proposed by now-retired Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) on October 22, 2015, the HPA seeks to remove silencers (aka. suppressors) from the umbrella of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and reclassify them as Title I firearms (same as shotguns, rifles, and handguns). Doing so would eliminate the $200 tax associated with each suppressor purchase/transfer and would greatly reduce the paperwork and time-to-approval for suppressor transfers. Currently, the NFA approvals are backlogged by over eight months. The new bill also retains the language from the first, which dictates that the government will refund the transfer tax for any suppressor purchases made after October 22, 2015 (the bill’s original introduction date).
With Salmons’ retirement, the reintroduction of the HPA was uncertain. However, the ASA has kept after the issue in full force since November 9th. The bill is also starting to gain some outside attention. Last week, the Washington Post published a weak hit piece on the bill, which was subsequently debunked on Monday by The Federalist. People across the country have begun to take the HPA seriously and with Congress’ current makeup, its prospects look relatively strong.
Read more about the HPA’s reintroduction at the ASA’s website.