Saturday, January 14, 2017

Yay for the Hearing Protection Act!

In general, I'm not a fan of legislation. Every new law removes a piece of freedom for the law abiding, and generally does nothing to stop the law-breakers, as well as hitting us with unpleasant secondary side effects. 

In specific, there's one bill now being introduced that is almost 100 years overdue. The Hearing Protection Act, which will allow gun owners to buy mufflers for their guns without massive federal "we didn't ban this, we just made it almost impossible to get." Seriously, I know calling 'em "silencers" is the movie-logic thing to do, and calling 'em "suppressors" is the technically correct term, but what are they really? They're mufflers, just like on your car, your lawnmower, your neighbor's car... (except that one annoying kid who thinks that the louder it is, the cooler it is. He'll be seeing the audiologist by the time he's 30.)  

I've had the great fun of playing with guns that have mufflers. (C'mon, pedantic people. When I'm hanging out with a lady friend at the range, and we're giggling about boys, and airplanes, and planning whether to go hiking in the mountains next week or split cocktails and tapas depending on the weather forecast, it's playing. You can hold forth on "deadly weapon" all you want, but yeah, yeah, so's a butcher knife and I play with new recipes that require chopping all the time!)

When you combine electronic ear muffs with mufflers on guns, you get two amazing things: one, you don't have to deal with the concussive punch off some of the hand cannons, which makes them a lot more fun to shoot for a lot longer. Second, like many ladies, I find screaming stressful - even if I'm not angry. So if we don't have to scream in order to be heard for basic conversation, we're a lot more relaxed and happier. (And yes, chattier. See: Ladies.) 

Besides, have you seen my new Ruger Mark IV? It came with a threaded barrel, and really needs a muffler to balance out the whole black and bronze and steampunky design!

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo on Wednesday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that eases restrictions on tools that help gun owners and sportsmen protect their hearing. Similar legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 367).
“The Hearing Protection Act would make it easier for sportsmen to purchase the tools necessary to protect their hearing,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Many gun owners and sportsmen suffer severe hearing loss, and yet sound suppressors – a tool that can reduce such loss – are overly regulated and taxed.” 
The Hearing Protection Act, S. 59, would remove suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act, replacing the current process with a National Instant Criminal Background Check. In addition, the bill would reduce the cost of purchasing a suppressor by removing the $200 transfer tax.
 Suppressors are often mischaracterized. Unlike in the movies, they do not “silence” the sound of a firearm.  By reducing the decibel level made by a firearm to a safe range, suppressors reduce hearing damage for those who shoot and hunt.
S. 59 would make it easier for gun owners and sportsmen to purchase suppressors in the 42 states where they are currently legal. Purchasers would have to pass a background check prior to a sale.
“Gun owners and sportsmen should be able to enjoy their outdoor heritage with the tools necessary to do so safely. This bill makes it easier for them to do that,” concluded Cox.
Source: NRA Media
Hat tip to Old NFO!


  1. I feel your pain so to speak LOL .

  2. Gun mufflers: a consummation devoutly to be wished. :)

  3. FarmDad - yeah, I know you do!

    Rev Paul - Here's hoping!

    Old NFO - why sir, it's like you know me! :-P But no, basic black. That way it can accessorize anything. Unless I get a dedicated one, in which case, all bets are off.

  4. That''s our Idaho boy! Go Senator Crapo!

  5. T=Yu are going to hate this comment but here in New Zealand you buy and fit sound moderators as and when you like - once the barrel is threaded and the sound moderator fitted, it is as easy as swapping a sling with QD swivels. See this website - it is ONE of many and probably the best:

    here it is mandatory for a professional (either deer culler or guide) to use a sound moderator to ... drumroll ... protect their hearing. And if you hunt with dogs, to protect the pooches hearing too.

    They do NOT silence the shot but reduce it enormously. In the field, they cause the sound to be "spread out" and the animal finds it extremely difficult to pinpoint the source of the shot. They will sometimes run towards the hunter, which is handy ... betterthan a deer with a tail at each end!

    Phil B