Wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy a suppressor without having to pay a $200 tax on an already expensive item?

That’s exactly what the American Silencer Association and Representative Matt Salmon (AZ) hope to do with the introduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). The bill aims to remove suppressors from the jurisdiction of the National Firearms Act, which would eliminate the current complicated and expensive process associated with acquiring a suppressor.

While this bill faced an uphill battle before the election that’s a very different story now. With Trump in the White House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican House this bill could be fast tracked to the President’s desk.

You can read the full text of the bill below

H. R. 3799

To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns.

_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 22, 2015

Mr. Salmon (for himself, Mr. Guinta, Mr. Carter of Texas, Mr. Kelly of
Pennsylvania, Mr. Collins of New York, Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania,
Mr. Huelskamp, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Mrs. Love, Mr. LaMalfa, and Mr.
Stewart) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on the
Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker,
in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the
jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

A BILL

To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Hearing Protection Act of 2015”.

SEC. 2. EQUAL TREATMENT OF SILENCERS AND FIREARMS.

(a) In General.–Section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986 is amended by striking “(7) any silencer” and all that follows
through “; and (8)” and inserting “; and (7)”.
(b) Effective Date.–
(1) In general.–The amendment made by this section shall
take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) Transfers.–In the case of the tax imposed by section
5811 of such Code, the amendment made by this section shall
apply with respect to transfers after October 22, 2015.

SEC. 3. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN SILENCERS.

Section 5841 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by
adding at the end the following:
“(f) Firearm Silencers.–A person acquiring or possessing a
firearm silencer in accordance with Chapter 44 of title 18, United
States Code, shall be treated as meeting any registration and licensing
requirements of the National Firearms Act (as in effect on the day
before the date of the enactment of this subsection) with respect to
such silencer.”.

SEC. 4. PREEMPTION OF CERTAIN STATE LAWS IN RELATION TO FIREARM
SILENCERS.

Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding
at the end the following: “Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a
law of a State or a political subdivision of a State that, as a
condition of lawfully making, transferring, using, possessing, or
transporting a firearm silencer in or affecting interstate or foreign
commerce, imposes a tax on any such conduct, or a marking,
recordkeeping or registration requirement with respect to the firearm
silencer, shall have no force or effect.”.

Image by Matt Korovesis

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86 thoughts on “No More $200 Tax Stamp for Suppressors? There’s a Very Good Chance of That In a Trump Presidency

  1. I’m 100% behind this, but why stop there? Repeal the whole damn National Firearms Act (NFA). Un-Constitutional. This is the only chance.

  2. I am not sure this is a good idea.

    All the wrong people will buy (steal) suppressors (scary assassins tool), and wind up giving the gun control lobby more support against us.

    1. Perhaps you have never *heard* a suppressed firearm go off. It isn’t “silenced”. The noise level IS reduced to the point where hearing damage isn’t as likely. You still know a firearm has been fired – especially with super-sonic ammunition. There are a lot of countries with no Constitutional protections for firearms owners where guns are regulated in draconian fashion, but to those who do manage to get guns, suppressors are actually encouraged.

      1. That is correct, I purchased a suppressor in South Africa several years ago at a General store (Hardware)

    2. Thats the stupidest comment on here… people who are going to use a freaking suppressor for illegal activity dont go buy it from the gun store you tool. They simply make their own which is rediculously easy but any LAW abiding person wont do it due to the possibility of being put in PRISON for doing so. But thugs do not care if they did care they wouldnt want to shoot at cops.

  3. While I’m for this, it will never pass. First cop who gets shot with a rifle/silencer, and they can’t tell where the shot came from, and all silencers will be illegal.

    1. Sadly, that has already happened and the OUTGOING current administration hasn’t done a DAMN thing. NOT one White House representative at a police officer’s funeral in 8 years. But they sent a delegation to a criminal’s funeral in Ferguson MO.

      This WILL change in 2017.

      All most people have heard of “SUPPRESSORS” is from the Foley man on TV and Films. they DO make noise, and yes you can hear where the shot came from, it’s just not as loud. Using the word “silencer” in the legislation proposed is a HUGE mistake, they do not silence anything.

      1. Good point. Movie sound affects are misleading with a “thump” when it’s really an uncool 90 – 100 db “crack”.

        There are a few military-only silencers that are super quiet, but only with subsonic ammo, it’s the lower gun powder load that reduces noise, the “super-sonic” noise of a bullet alone does not carry far. Witnessed one at Knob Creek that was so quiet you heard the hammer click and the bee-like whiz of the bullet, it was a .308 “thumper” round.

      2. Military only?????? you are so full of it almost everything you have wrote on this post is completely WRONG . You sound like a expert hired by CNN.

      3. Whoa! Why the hostility? We have an interesting subject for a change! Anyone who has interacted with Class 2 manufacturers on the project/supply side will see a lot of stuff. Or at least spend a few years at Knob Creek to see many different suppressor types in use will know there’s more to it. For example, the .308 ‘Thumper’ round for the quietest performance requires a modified ‘BC’ – ‘Ballistic Coeffiencent’, a much heavier bullet with a faster but smaller powder charge, giving ~70% terminal ballistics and a suppressed blast close to a suppressed .22LR round! It seems counter intuitive, but the math makes it work. Relax and enjoy!

      4. I am relaxed and enjoy this, I Sir have been a Class 2 since 1982 and seeing your posts on so many things that are not true I had to reply .

      5. Good for you, however most Class 2 holders are ‘end users’ only and won’t have any further insight beyond that. So we’ll agree to disagree. Have a nice day.

    2. Shot spotter tech can still track the muzzle blast of a suppressed firearm as well as the bullets flight path. Also keep in mind that we have over a million suppressors in private hands without issue so far.

  4. This is an excellent idea on many different level, one being saving our ears, the second in hunting our game, and third it won’t wake up the neighbors while shooting skunks and coyotes coming up in the yard.

  5. Silencers would be nice to have and it’s not going to make a change in the amount of violent acts that are committed although if one is used in a crime, C(linton) N(ews) N(etwork) and the rest of the liberal media will demonize it, blame Trump, the Republicans, call it racist/bigot/xenophobic/islamaphobic/etc and make it headline news, another unarmed black youth will have been shot by a white cop for no reason…Michael Brown. Back on point, silencers would be nice to have but not sure they’ll repeal the tax stamp, the government loves to take your money in any way, shape or form that it can. We can only hope.

  6. Yes, it would be nice not to pay $200 tax stamp. But there still should be BATF paperwork on a silencers (proper term: “suppressors”) to keep idiots from buying and abusing them. It’s only human nature that respect for ownership of silencers and machine guns occurs because of the BATF paperwork, loss of a license or denied CLEO sign-off if abused. That’s why there’s nearly no story in decades of a licensed machine gun or silencer owner getting convicted of a gun crime!! If they’re too easy to get, idiots will ruin it for everyone! Think about it!!

    1. Criminals will simply build their own… Popular media has shown how easy it is to improvise one. (e.g. film “Shooter” with Marc Wahlberg, and many other films.)

      1. Crooks could make their own, but that’s been the case since the BATF Tax Stamp started in 1934. Movies are misleading, making a silencer looks easy in the movies and it’s possible the one you make (= 5 yrs jail) will reduce noise a little, but the trick is to make them shoot straight at more then 20 yards! The secret is a bullet flying thru a silencer is drafted by it’s gun powder blast at 10 X the speed, this causes the bullet to wobble so at any reasonable distance accuracy is lost – not kidding, my pal is a Class 2 Manufacturer, gave me a tour a few yrs back & the inside scoop! Movies can’t be accurate or they’d get sued for “vicarious liability”. Ooops! I might get shot for letting the cat out of the bag! LOL

      2. Dude, you are so full of it it’s scary.
        First off a criminal would need a firearm to use a silencer. They are already prohibited from possessing a firearm so why further litigate silencers/suppressors?
        Also silencer is the correct term for multiple reasons. The guy who invented the damn thing named it a silencer. So what’s your point?
        You can manufacture a silencer very easily. All you need is a tube, something for the baffles, and a drill press.
        You can make it super easy and just order a kit online for $80. Then drill it yourself. Boom. Silencer.
        Vicarious liability? Hahahahaha!
        This doesn’t even begin to make sense.
        But please tell me how I’m wrong with only anecdotal evidence.

      3. Anyone selling on line kits can be prosecuted by the BATF, in the 1970’s selling baffles alone constituted a silencer + a jail sentence, or selling common parts for the purpose of making a silencer, the government has the resources to push for convictions and win. Just get a license if you want one.

      4. anyone can make a silencer as long as they are not a felon . no licence required .
        Same thing with a sawed off shotgun . Grab a form 1, buy a shotgun and a hack saw , Send the form 1 in along with $ 5.00 after it’s approved cut the barrel down to about 5 or 6 inches , no license required .

      5. You missed the point entirely. Criminals don’t follow the law. Why force LAC to do a BGC for an item that is useless without a gun which also requires a BGC.
        I’m aware of the law. Criminals don’t care.
        Why do you insist that we can legislate criminals into productive members of society?

      6. Decklin, where’s your pride of workmanship? making a silencer with a drill press is sad and crappy. Gotta have a machine shop, turns out the “T-I-R” – Total Indicated Runout along the length of a silencer and to the rifling in a barrel is fairly critical.

      7. Also, a machine shop? Are you serious? Are you so misinformed with firearms you’re totally unaware that you can buy fully built suppressors online and finish drilling it yourself?
        You don’t need a tax stamp till you drill the end cap.
        But whatever you clearly know what you’re talking about.

      8. Since “suppressors” don’t actually silence the report, calling them suppressors is proper and correct. And it is particularly correct because they’ve been previously described in the law as suppressors.

        WE know they refer to the same type of device, but under the law, mis-wording a bit of legislation could cloud the issue so badly the courts could not interpret it at all. Judges rarely have the training and experience with firearms that most on Outdoor Hub have, so why confuse the people who will have to interpret the law by changing the wording.?

      9. People do long distance target shooting with suppressors, many long range target shooters that I respect don’t feel any need to be overly picky about which suppressor to use on precision rifles.

        There are many online communities of people that make form one (home made) suppressors. I am a member of a few Facebook groups, and arfcom has many do it your selfers that get good results. Suppressors are not rocket surgery.

      10. it is *very* expense to 3D print anything compared to making something traditional way. Making a sound suppressor is trivial with ordinary tools, the fact that something *could* someday come out of a very expense rapid prototyping system while today can be made cheaply with ordinary tools is not an argument against it. Just as pushing a “button die” through a pipe to make a threaded barrel is cheap and easy compared to running a laser powdered metal sintering machine to make one, it’s silly.

      11. It’s not silly, it’s called evolution. I’m not arguing against you making “wooden shoes”, I’m just pointing out that things evolve; new technologies, processes and materials come along. And then we have “nikes”. I’m also not saying that “nikes” are the end all of their industry, but for most people they are an upgrade from clogs.

      12. No it is not “evolution” as the product from these low cost 3D printers has very loose tolerances compared to say plastic from mold, but the cost is much, much higher. The proper way to make a suppressor or firearm with tight tolerances from metal is machining, not 3D printing. Yes there are some 3D systems costing more than many houses that could make a precise part that industries such as aerospace use, but they’d laugh at your notion of making a firearm with them as the machines that mass produce those quickly and at low cost to high tolerances were perfected decades ago. 3D printing adds nothing to that except ability to make custom nonstandard parts at high cost and much longer time.

      13. I know a little about suppressors, I own Thunder Beast Arms. The 3D printers are already being used to make suppressors. I’ve been watching the technology and the price for years. Right now they are lacking in laser technology a bit for my use. The price of the machines isn’t bad considering I can print shapes I can’t cut. Right now they are a little slow but being able to make something better than I can now is priceless. We lead the industry in precision cans and as soon as the printers can do what I need I’ll have one in the shop. I bet in a few years we will have one. They are not that much more than the 8 axis machines we buy now but they are slow. As far as the HPA passing goes, I hope it does but I only give it a 20% chance. Lots of people are afraid of and don’t understand suppressors at all. Oh yeah the sonic crack is louder than someone posted. It depends on caliber. A 338 makes a louder crack than a 6.5. I’ve done some testing on it with our trusty B&K 2209

      14. I’d be worried about the max. tensile strength of 3D materials for rifles, though maybe that’s changed in past couple years so they’re out of the realm of “soft tool”? I’ve fired suppressed handguns only, haven’t heard rifle. I used to manage CAE/CAM/CADD department that did rapid prototyping using outside shops (not firearms applications), besides the cnc milling there was laser sintering of powdered metal

      15. Whatever, you can make one with an adapter from almost anywhere and an oil filter. But it’s not legal to own. And it might interfere with the scope. I’ve never made one, but I might give it a try for $20 if there was no tax stamp. I’m really tired of using ear plugs when I hunt.

      16. Metal based 3D printers ARE already on the hobbyist market. They produce a fairly high quality item, but using one as a suppressor means using it to create a lost wax mold from it. The Plastic based ones can produce a decent quality limited use throwaway suppressor. The costs of these kits are kind of high, but they are available. And you have to know enough electronics to assemble a kit that probably has NO INSTRUCTIONS. Where to they come from you ask? eBay dealers that sell out of China which if you want to return it the shipping costs are prohibitive. (Read that: They’re kind of crappy, but they will/can be made to work.

      1. They can be “abused” by people who should not have them to commit a crime, intimidate people knowing they can shot someone with fewer people hearing the shot. Do I love suppressors? You bet! Any time I can get to go to Knob Creek Range in Kentucky for the biggest live-fire display of suppressors and full auto, I’m there!

        If anyone is on the “no fly list”, felony record or mental disorder, then they should not get a gun or a suppressor, if it’s wide open, someday somebody’s gonna commit a crime so big they’ll spoil it for all the law abiding people!!

        Democrats can’t take away everyone’s 2nd amendment rights since they’d wind up in court for years!!

      2. Another person with a shit argument. Criminals still use guns even though they are not legally allowed to have them. How do you even come up with an argument like this?

      3. What are you objecting to? Crooks who use guns is not something anyone here caused. BATF licensing of full auto and silencers, etc, + CLEO sign-offs discourages abuse by law abiding people – it’s a system that works, but it would be nice if the $200 tax stamp was $0. Crooks will always be outside the law and import guns just like drugs from all over the world. Your disagreement would be with those crooks.

      4. What was the reason that suppressors were originally added to the NFA? Was there an epidemic with suppressors being used in crime or was it because some dumb politician watched a movie and thought, “OMG!!! We need to register these things!!!”? I doubt that there will be any real increase in the usage of suppressors for crime. Think about it, right now people get shot and nobody hears a thing.

      5. I don’t don’t know the reason, but it would be nice to know, my initial impression is that silencers were lumped in with machine guns when the law was first enacted in 1934.

      6. Maybe in the past they were made out of really heavy steel and someone took one and hit another person over the head with it, cracking their skull. 🙂 That’s why we should put baseball bats, walking sticks and rocks on the list too. God Bless America!

      7. It was originally a wildlife law. The thinking was that it gave an unfair advantage. What about scopes, long range rifles, etc. The argument never held water, but still passed, then was bastardized to include everyone.

      8. To counter your comment, I would have to say that every mass shooting in the last 20 years have been committed by registered Democrats, so we should stop Democrats from having guns, and suppressors.

      9. Larry where did you get your info? You should give that tip to CNN, ABC or at least FoxNews so they can check it out for real, if true, it would embarrass Democrats for sure!

      10. If someone wants to kill silently, he can simply use a knife.

        Have Denmark and other countries experienced problems with suppressed guns?

      11. you think a crook who wants to hold up a liquor store will do it or not do it whether he has hearing protecting suppression device on end of barrel? and will a handgun conveniently fit in his pocket then? what nonsense, will have no bearing on crime

      12. Sure, store robberies by crackheads are drug-impulse crimes, won’t include any planning. But let’s not make any easier! Any decent upstanding American in the right state can get licensed if they really wanted it, no prob!

      13. Really, you think people that use supressors get away with murder more often? Is this really a big issue, I don’t think it is.

      14. You never know. I let a pal try my suppressed Ruger MKII pistol, he was thrilled, then he said if he had one 10 yrs ago, all the scores he could of settled! Well, he never got to shoot it again! There millions of people out there all with their own issues, just note all the mass shootings out there. Just imagine if you added “Walmart suppressors” to the mix. I’d like to see the $200 tax stamp go away but keep the registration paperwork to weed out the idiots!

      15. So you think if a idiot wants a silencer, hearing the government say no is going to stop them? I swear I will never understand how people think the gov saying no ends that.

      16. The law stops 95% of the average idiots, since commercially made suppressors are hard to get, who wants to break into a gun owners house and see? The average idiot likely can’t complete BATF paperwork. 4.99% of the idiots will try and use a pop bottle. Maybe .01% of idiots will try and manufacture a suppressor. I think there’s enough barriers to slow down most idiots or there would more media stories of suppressors being used. For example, had the guy who shot up bar Orlando used a suppressor, he could have killed 100’s with the loud music to mask screams and no loud gun shots! Republicans want give deranged people the right to buy guns, that’s bound to turn out bad. That can be bad for all of us in yrs to come!

      17. Laws do not stop or inhibit crime much. They tell the penalty if you break them. Criminals would make their own suppressors. It is pretty easy. The rest of us would just use them correctly. If a person were to want to become a killer with a suppressor, no law will stop that. Laws are just words. What stops a bad guy with a gun, or suppressor, is a good guy with one too.

      18. I agree, the law and punishment is after the fact for sure. A good guy with a suppressor only works if he SEES the bad guy with a suppressor as he takes a shot….. lol!

      19. Criminals do not go through the BATF, or do any paperwork. The NAF laws only slow law abiding citizens.

      20. True, crooks don’t follow the law. But manufacturers, distributors and sellers of suppressors follow the law and maintain BATF required records so it’s highly unlikely a commercially made suppressor (that actually works) will ever make into the hands of a crook. Crooks tend to be too lazy to manufacturer their own. I’m in favor of dropping the $200 tax stamp but keeping licensing to keep the idiots from ruining it for the rest of us.

  7. Oh yeah, silencers won’t be nearly as cool if every idiot in town had them too!! Learn more by visiting the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in April and October – right next to Fort Knox – You can’t miss it, it’s in “Bullet County” Kentucky !!! Not making this up!!

    1. My thunderbeast 22 can is pretty darn silent. The bullet makes more noise when it hits something than when it comes out of the barrel. But, I understand what you guys are saying.

  8. We had more than enough gun laws WITHOUT the NFA. Enforce the ones that keep weapons out of the hands of violent criminals.
    Enact this and DUMP THE NFA.

  9. Using the word “silencer” in the legislation proposed is a HUGE mistake, they do not silence anything.

    Yes, they do make it less noisy, but no they silence NOTHING. SUPPRESSORS not silencers.

    1. I agree, just like assault rifle, we as responsible gun users should try to use the most friendly terms. When you anticipate a organized opposition, like this bill will have, correcting misuse of the word gives a reason to correct the myth that suppressors are nearly silent like the movies. They’re relatively quiet when you’re behind them but not nearly so much to the front or side and only typically have 30-40db reduction so from 140db to 110 (loud concert).
      That being said the “silencer” name came from the inventor Hiram Maxim, from his patented “Maxim Silencer”

    2. maxim used the word silencer so they can be called silencers. Sorry if you want to try to be some all knowing person, but your argument falls on it’s ass fast as hell.

    3. John, I guess I made my Silencer Juice with the wrong name , well maybe not , it does make suppressors much more silent . Then again I have heard them called Silencers, suppressors , cans , I don’t think anything they are called makes the name a huge mistake .

      1. Since “suppressors” don’t actually silence the report, calling them suppressors is proper and correct. And it is particularly correct because they’ve been previously described in the law as suppressors.

        WE know they refer to the same type of device, but under the law, mis-wording a bit of legislation could cloud the issue so badly the courts could not interpret it at all. Judges rarely have the training and experience with firearms that most on Outdoor Hub have, so why confuse the people who will have to interpret the law by changing the wording?

    4. The law has always referred to them as silencers so that is the name we are stuck with when writing new bills. This can’t be changed now because of all of the state laws that reference federal law, part of this bill deals with the fact that many state laws will still refer to this new modified law.

      1. The Federal codes uses the word suppressor or suppressors. To change the legislation could confuse already OVERLOADED UNTRAINED JUDGES (untrained IN FIREARMS IN A PRACTICAL WAY.)./

  10. I hope so. My state allows hunting with supressors, but I don’t have $200 to put toward it before I even buy the suppressor. I end up hunting using foam ear plugs which isn’t the best idea, but nothing else I have tried has been acceptable. It does seem ridiculous that the government wants you to damage your hearing, but it goes back to fighting people like Al Capone in the 1930s. That’s why it’s there not for any rational reason that applies now. Europe is correct on this one.

  11. I have noticed that no matter how stupid the law, there are always defenders. We went through this when states started issuing shall issue concealed carry permits. More recently when states went to “constitutional carry” there were grave warnings and defenders of permits. Now we’ve got a law from the 1930s that is helping make Americans more deaf and there are still people defending this nonsense law. Amazing. You could have a law where you are required to run over a goat before you reach work every morning and some people would tell you why that was a good idea.

    1. I hear ya bro! There will always some people that find a way to break the law. But if silencers were too easy to get, then the shooter in the #Pizzagate shooting or any other shooting could kill more pple before anyone realizes what’s going on! If anyone can buy a silencer at Walmart, abuses will occur and then the law would be changed again and the guns community discredited at the same time. Sure BATF paperwork is a pain, but after all these years I’m OK with it. I’d like to see the $200 tax stamp dropped but not the licensing paperwork, since that keeps 99.999% of the idiots from ruining it for everyone!l Even then, good silencers will still cost $600 or more! Remember we’re all on the same side here, gun guys n gals, I’ve not seen any anti-gun folks post here!

      1. People that are active shooters do not do the paperwork or buy through dealers. Criminals are not deterred by laws. The NFA laws only affect law abiding citizens.

  12. Good law. Any law that eliminates a tax and paperwork to participate in a free marketplace is good law. Now eliminate background check FEEs for people with CCW. If you have CCW you have passed background check.

  13. The NFA laws were created from fear. (like most laws) Written by people who had never shot -or even held- a firearm in their lives. Written by people who thought someone was going to forcefully remove them from office. In their paranoid narcissist minds “Silencers” go PEW-PEW. The hearing damage risk level is at 140 DB. An non-suppressed rifle is around 160 DB. A suppressed rifle of the same caliber is around 130 DB. So you could make the case that suppressors don’t really make a significant difference in sound to protect hearing, but at the same time, why would you need to have the extra restrictions on them? I don’t think they should be treated the same as a long gun. They should be treated like a muzzle break.

  14. 6 months later and still nothing has changed even with a President who said he’d be pro gun and a Republican majority congress. No EO’s have been lifted banning the imporation of certain gun parts, no EO’s have been lifted banning Russian and Chinese guns and ammo imports, No bill has been signed to make silencers an over the counter item….nada.

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