November 5, 2015

Hearing Protection Act Introduced

On October 22, H.R. 3799, the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 was introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ). The bill includes 22 co-sponsors, including Vice-Chair of the CSC, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC). The Hearing Protection Act will remove firearm suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act, and instead require that all suppressor sales be subject to an instantaneous background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation has been working alongside the American Suppressor Association and other partners at the state level for many years to dispel the many myths and misconceptions surrounding firearm suppressor technology. Currently, 41 states allow for suppressor ownership and use and 37 allow their use for hunting. In reality, suppressors do not at all resemble Hollywood’s portrayal of the technology. Suppressors do not silence host firearms, instead they reduce the sound signature of the report down to hearing safe levels (roughly the same decibel reduction as a high quality pair of ear muffs). Successful passage of the Hearing Protection Act will ensure that the law abiding public is able to purchase this hearing protection technology without subjecting themselves to onerous federal taxes and administrative processes, while prohibited individuals will continue to be barred from purchasing or possessing them.

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?

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