In this article, we're going to go over some of the basics of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) at a very high level.
What is the Hearing Protection Act?
If passed, the Hearing Protection Act would remove silencers from the NFA; so, although they would still be treated as firearms, there would no longer be a $200 tax or NFA registration process.
On top of that, the HPA includes a provision that would refund the $200 NFA tax for all items purchased after 10/22/2015 with a tax credit if the act passes!
We all know the current regulation of suppressors doesn't make any sense, and the HPA is a first pass at resolving the inconsistencies at a federal level. On top of that, the HPA will raise awareness among lawmakers who are friendly to our cause so they can (hopefully) understand our market better.
How will the Hearing Protection Act impact legality in the different states?
This is a fairly complicated topic because of the way state laws interact with federal laws.
For example, in many states (at least 14, and probably closer to 20), silencers are legal only if they are properly registered in the NFA. As a result, if done incorrectly, the HPA could have resulted in silencers inadvertently being made illegal in those states.
Fortunately, the American Suppressor Association was able to get a preemption clause built into the HPA; so, if suppressors are currently legal where you live, they will still be legal if the HPA passes.
Unfortunately, if suppressors are NOT legal where you live, they still won't be legal if the HPA passes. We're sorry to disappoint anybody who may have been counting on that.
Will the Hearing Protection Act pass?
Probably not. We all know the current political environment is such that passing a law like this would be a long-shot at best.
Having said that, the Hearing Protection Act will help raise awareness at both the state and federal levels - which will pave the way for truly deregulating suppressors in the future.
If state and federal lawmakers start seeing support for the deregulation of silencers, then the ASA will be able to leverage that support to both increase the number of states where suppressors can be purchased as well as eventually removing them from the NFA altogether.
What can you do to help this effort?
There are several things we can all do to help get silencers out of the NFA:
(*) Join the ASA! Having active members makes any lobbying organization more effective, and the ASA is no exception.
(*) If you are already an ASA member, then consider making a donation to help support this effort. (If you're interested in making a donation, you can give us a call @ 512-931-4556 and 100% of what you donate will go to the ASA.)
(*) Please contact your lawmakers to let them know you support this legislation!
(*) Let people know about the benefits of shooting suppressed.
At the end of the day, this effort will be more effective as the industry grows - and education is the key to growth. As the number of silencers & silencer owners grows, there will be more pressure on lawmakers to change the way they are regulated.
Please join Silencer Shop in supporting the ASA in this cause!