While the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), which would remove suppressors from the NFA, has been getting a lot of press lately, two senators have introduced a new piece of legislation that would reclassify the devices as gun accessories.
The Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing (SHUSH) Act introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) goes farther than the HPA, also introduced by Crapo earlier this year, by eliminating the federal regulations surrounding suppressors, according to conservativereview.com
“By properly classifying suppressors as a firearm accessory, our bill would allow sportsmen to have better access to hearing protection and preserve the hearing of sportsmen, gun owners and those who live near shooting ranges,” Crapo said in a release.
“Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year,” he said.
Currently, suppressors are more difficult to purchase than firearms themselves, as they require a $200 tax stamp and a bunch of extra federal hoops to jump through per NFA regulations.
Of course, just as the HPA has had its opponents, Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has already spoken out against the SHUSH Act.
“There’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire,” Brown said in the story, ignoring the fact that the benefits of suppressors isn’t only hearing loss prevention, but they also create a much less stressful and safer training environment in which people can practice and learn to shoot.
The story says that the American Speech-Language Hearing Association says firearm use is a strong indicator of hearing loss and often results in “high-frequency permanent hearing loss,” making it difficult to hear certain speech sounds and pitches.
“By properly classifying suppressors as a firearm accessory,” Crapo said in the release, “our bill would allow sportsmen to have better access to hearing protection and preserve the hearing of sportsmen, gun owners and those who live near shooting ranges.”