The Hearing Protection Act of 2017 was introduced by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) in January to eliminate the $200 transfer tax on firearm silencers. It also treats “any person who acquires or possesses a firearm silencer as meeting any registration or licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act with respect to such silencer.”
Attorney Edwin Walker of the Texas and U.S. Law Shield assured Chris Salcedo on Wednesday’s “Chris Salcedo Show” that this bill is not written for “international assassins and mafia hit men.” He also said that a “silencer” is more correctly referred to as a suppressor, which is basically a muffler for a gun.
A gun cannot truly be silenced; the suppressor just “takes that ear-piercing crack away,” Walker explained. Hunters, recreational shooters, and law enforcement are subjected to over 140 decibels when shooting, which damages hearing. A suppressor brings the decibels down to the 115 – 130 range.
He said that ear protection is available, but problematic for those who need to hear what’s going on around them, like hunters. By the time ear plugs are applied, a hunter can miss their shot. Criminals do not typically use suppressors because they are expensive and make guns hard to conceal. They also do not fit on every weapon.