Suppressors currently protect the hearing of hunters and sportsmen in 41 states where suppressors are legal, and in 37 states where hunting with a suppressor is legal.
New York is not one of them. Also known as silencers, suppressors are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Despite common Hollywood-based misconceptions,
the laws of physics dictate that no suppressor will ever be able to render gunfire silent.
Suppressors are simply mufflers for firearms, which function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to slowly cool in a controlled environment.
On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 – 35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection,
suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting lands.
Unfortunately, suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). The NFA regulates the transfer and possession of
certain types of firearms and devices, including suppressors. 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 that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork. In stark
contrast, many countries in Europe place no regulations on their purchase, possession, or use.
The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is now working with Congress to remove suppressors from the list of items regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA).
Suppressors, $200 tax stamp on suppressor purchase, complex legality, and travel issues between states are all regulated by the 1934 NFA.
The American Suppressor Association (ASA), with assistance of the NRA, announced the introduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) by Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05). This
legislation will remove suppressors from the onerous requirements of the NFA, and instead require purchasers to pass an instant NICS check, the same background check that
is used during the sale of long guns.
Please contact your Congressman and ask him to support legislation to make suppressors legal.