Suppressors were all the rage at this year’s SHOT Show. This is primarily due to the changing of leadership in our country. On January 9th the American Suppressor Association (ASA), announced the reintroduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA).
Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA stated, “The American Suppressor Association believes that citizens should not have to pay a tax to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights,”
While it’s a lengthy process to get legislation passed, you can currently apply for a license to purchase one. You can find additional information at the ASA site. They share, “Suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934.” Suppressors are included in the NFA’s regulations of the transfer and possession of certain types of firearms and devices.
The ASA indicates, “Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same background check process that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork.”
Contrary to popular belief, silencers are not silent. They are in fact noise reducers. AND, silencers are not solely for use by assassins.
Last fall I attended Remington Outdoors Company’s Writer’s Event. While there I had the opportunity to visit with Eric Woo, of Advanced Armament Corporation. He shared a background of silencers, stating, “The initial patent filed for silencers was filed in 1908, and today there are 1 million silencers privately registered in the U.S.”
He also shared five benefits of using a silencer. He used the acronym, S-H-A-R-P to help us understand the importance and some of the use of silencers.
S – Safety If you don’t have ear protection and blow out your ears, that’s not safe. Also, if you have earplugs, you cut off your senses from your surroundings. Not being in tune with your surroundings is not safe. All the other benefits support this one. It’s all about safety.
H – Hearing Protection There are many people who’ve lost hearing or have severe damage to their ears.
A – Accuracy Improvement Depending on the rifle and silencer combination, and the ammunition, you can reduce the turbulent effect creating an increase in velocity, called a “free bore boost,” which increases the trajectory of the projectile.
R – Recoil Reduction Adds weight, and extends the barrel, which reduces recoil. This benefits new shooters, youngsters, and others who may be intimidated by recoil.
P – Preservation of Night Vision. Silencers contain muzzle blast-reducing flash. You don’t become night blind. This is a benefit to soldiers and law enforcement officers.
As you can see, silencers have some benefits many people don’t think of. The introduction of the Hearing Protection Act is beneficial to many and we saw it in the new products at the show.
Remember always to be safe with firearms, and don’t forget your eyes and ears.