On January 4, Representative Jeff Duncan (SC), a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) as H.R. 95.
The overall intent of the HPA remains to remove firearm suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act, while still providing a background check process, thereby improving access to these hearing safety devices for America’s sportsmen and women. However, it is not only America’s hunters and recreational shooters that would benefit from this legislation as state fish and wildlife agencies –largely responsible for conserving fish and wildlife across the country – would benefit as well. Included in the HPA is a clause that would add firearm suppressors to the list of taxable items (at 10%) under the Pittman-Robertson Act – one of the primary pillars of the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). This “user-pays, public-benefits” program is a sportsmen and women driven model that provides the majority of funds that state fish and wildlife agencies utilize to carry out their critical conservation work. Expanding this funding model through the addition of suppressors will provide additional resources for these agencies that will result in real benefits for on-the-ground conservation throughout the nation.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation commends Rep. Duncan and the many other CSC members who signed on as original co-sponsors for their dedication to this important issue.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?