The Call For Silencers Is Getting Louder

As the governor of Iowa prepares to sign a law allowing suppressor ownership in the state, gun rights groups are working to remove several federal restrictions related to the purchase and ownership of suppressors.

In Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad is scheduled to sign House File 2279 into law at Brownell's headquarters in Grinnel, according to this story from kcci.com. The state Senate passed the bill on March 17 to allow the legal sale, use, and possession of firearm suppressors. It also provides penalties in addition to regulations. Currently, cans are illegal in the state.

Nationally, the Hearing Protection Act would exempt suppressors from the National Firearms Act of 1934, a law that also regulates short-barreled rifles, stocked pistols, fully automatic firearms, and other devices. Currently, if you want to buy a suppressor, you must pay for a $200 tax stamp and wait several months for the ATF to process the extensive paperwork and background checks on the item before purchase is allowed.

This story from the Free Beacon says a coalition of gun rights groups, including the NRA and NSSF, are making the bill a top priority for 2016, along with SilencerCo, a leading suppressor manufacturer.

“'It could be a really big deal for the gun industry,' said SilencerCo CEO Joshua Waldron, who also holds positions at the American Suppressor Association and NRA. 'We’re gaining momentum. The best part about this bill is we didn’t understand how much support we would get from all of the organizations: NSSF, NRA, Congressional Sportsman Foundation. It’s really a strong push because in essence everybody understands what suppressors really are.'

“'They make hunting and shooting safer. That’s an issue that everybody can get behind on both sides of the table.'”

The bill was introduced by Republican Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona, an avid shooter and user of suppressors. The bill also has 55 co-sponsors, including some Democrats. The swell of positive support may have something to do with the fact that there have been nearly no crimes committed that involved suppressors.

“There have been zero legally-owned suppressors used in crimes since the ‘30s,” said Waldron. Many have pointed out in the past that suppressors don’t hide the noise of a gunshot the way they do in the movies, but only muffle it to a level where you don’t need hearing protection, very much like the muffler on a car. In fact, the two devices were invented by the same guy.

They also aren’t very practical for criminals, because they make a firearm considerably longer, making much harder to conceal and more difficult to use.

Suppressors are currently legal in more than 40 states.