The introduction of new bicameral legislation may make it a lot easier for gun owners to have and purchase suppressors. This is because the legislation’s goal is to remove all federal regulations on all silencers and suppressors.
The legislation’s name is the SHUSH Act. This acronym stands for Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act. The new act would ensure that the treatment of suppressors is the same across the board as that of other firearm accessories.
So far, the act has the backing of Senators Mike Lee (Utah) and Mike Crapo (Idaho), as well as Congressman Steve King (Iowa).
According to Guns.com:
“Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year,” Lee said in a statement from his office. “The current process for obtaining a suppressor is far too expensive and burdensome. Our bill would remove these unnecessary federal regulations and make it easier for firearms users to protect themselves.”
The bill, entered as S.1505 in the Senate and H.R.3139 in the House, would not only remove suppressors from National Firearms Act requirements — a goal of the rival Hearing Protection Act — but also classify them as simple accessories which could be sold over the counter. The Hearing Protection Act, currently with 154 co-sponsors, would eliminate the $200 transfer tax on suppressors by dropping them from NFA rules, but still requires they should be transferred through federal firearms licensees after a background check, regulating them as firearms. Both bills provide for a refund on tax stamps bought since Oct. 22, 2015.
Crapo hails from Idaho, a state that is home to well-known suppressor maker Gemtech as well as a host of smaller manufacturers such as StingerWorx, Ballista and Tactical Innovations; while Lee’s home state of Utah counts SilencerCo and OSS Suppressors among its firearms industries. Iowa, where King’s district is located, became the 42nd state to legalize suppressor ownership by civilians last year.
However, not everyone is approving of the SHUSH Act and its aim. For instance, many advocates for gun control have instantly opposed the proposal.
This is because they feel that the act would no longer allow for background checks on silencer and suppressor sales. As a result, this act can make it legal for felons, those with a mental illness, and others to purchase a silencer or suppressor.
Many gun advocates are also of the opinion that the new act will also increase profits for firearm manufacturers. They fear these manufacturers will market their products at the expense of public safety.