Suppressor Authorizations Front and Center During Delaware Caucus Meeting

Contact: Joe Mullin, Northeastern States Manager

  • On March 17, the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a policy meeting in Dover, for a discussion on a variety of pressing sportsmen’s issues, including firearm suppressor authorizations for rifles and shotguns.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Joe Mullin (Northeastern States Manager) and Joe Bachar (Brad Rowse Internship Fellow) participated in the Caucus’ meeting and were joined by the American Suppressor Association, National Rifle Association, and National Wild Turkey Federation.
  • Despite the growing national trend towards authorizing firearm suppressor ownership, Delaware is one of eight remaining states where their possession is illegal.

Why it Matters: The amount of firearm suppressors in circulation within the United States continues to grow on an annual basis, providing further credence to their well-deserved reputation as the hearing protection of the 21st Century. The primary purpose of these instruments is to protect the hearing of firearms-users and those within the immediate area, epitomizing why they are quickly becoming a favored accessory of sportsmen and women. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation has a tenured history in working with elected officials and agency staff around the nation to lessen and remove bans on firearm suppressors.

On March 17, CSF’s Joe Mullin and Joe Bachar traveled to Dover for a meeting of the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. CSF joined the American Suppressor Association (ASA) for a discussion on legislation that intends to make Delaware the 43rd state to allow suppressor use and possession on rifles and shotguns. For the better part of the last decade, CSF has worked jointly with ASA and state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses on enabling legislation for firearm suppressor possession and use.

Despite common myths and misconceptions, suppressors do not “silence” host firearms. Instead, they operate by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle of a firearm, allowing them to slowly cool in a similar fashion to car mufflers. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters, hunters, and hunting dogs. Recognizing the role of hearing protection when using firearms, the growing popularity of suppressors cannot be overlooked. In 2019, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reported that there were 1,750,433 firearms suppressors in circulation within the United States. By 2020, that figure had increased to 2,042,719 – a 14% spike. In its 2021 report, the ATF stated that there were 2,664,774 suppressors in circulation – a 23% increase compared to the previous year and a 34% increase from two years prior. The numbers don’t lie – suppressor ownership is growing, and Delaware stands to potentially be the next state that allows its sportsmen and women to save their hearing while in the field.

CSF looks forward to working with Caucus leadership and partner organizations in making the First State the next state to authorize firearms suppressors for rifles and shotguns for hunting and recreational shooting purposes. Additional updates will be provided as they are made available.

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