June 16, 2021

What They Are Saying: Hearing Protection Act

Washington, D.C.--Senator Crapo and 14 Senate Republicans reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act, S. 2050, which would provide recreational gun users better access to hearing protection equipment by reclassifying suppressors to regulate them like regular firearms.  Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20-35 dB, roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs.  Co-sponsors include Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina). 

What co-sponsors and industry groups say about the HPA: 

“Idaho’s sportsmen and women have the right to access adequate hearing protection without burdensome government regulations.  I’m proud to support this commonsense legislation which allows law-abiding gun owners to protect their hearing while enjoying hunting and other recreational shooting sports.”U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) 

“I firmly support the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms for all law-abiding citizens.  We should not burden law-abiding gun owners by overregulating the purchase of sound suppressors for firearms.  Despite what we see in Hollywood movies, sound suppressors do not make firearms silent.  They simply reduce the noise and are valuable tools for hunting and other shooting sports.  Even with a suppressor, guns are still loud.  This common-sense change helps address this misconception about ‘silencers’ and ensures law-abiding gun owners can purchase sound suppressors for hearing protection without excessive federal regulation and hundreds of dollars in taxes.” – U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) 

“I am proud to defend the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding West Virginians and support sportsmen and women across our state.  This legislation would remove the federal transfer process, including the expensive transfer tax levied on purchasers, and replace it with the instantaneous NICS background check system.  This commonsense change would cut red tape and provide West Virginia’s recreational gun users increased access to needed hearing protection equipment.”U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) 

“Making it easier to protect hunters’ and shooting sportsmen’s hearing is a commonsense course of action.  These law-abiding citizens want to use their firearms in as safe and enjoyable a way as possible, and I’m proud to join my colleagues to help cut red tape and increase their access to suppressors.”U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) 

“Burdensome regulations on firearm suppressors are doing more harm than good to sportsmen and women.  Our legislation will ensure law-abiding gun owners can easily access hearing protection without having to navigate bureaucratic red tape or exorbitant taxes.”U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) 

“Recreational gun users and sportsmen deserve proper noise protections when using their firearms, whether it be for hunting or target practice.  Suppressors offer this protection and should be readily accessible and not heavily regulated for law abiding citizens who have a Second Amendment right to use their firearms.  I am proud to work with my colleagues on this legislation to make this protection a reality.”U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) 

“Responsible gun owners shouldn’t have to fight through layers of regulations to exercise their Second Amendment rights.  Hearing protection accessories improve safety for shooting sports by protecting against hearing loss and allowing easier communication on the range.  These accessories should be purchased through a simple background check just like firearms.  Unfortunately, the outdated and unconstitutional National Firearms Act of 1934 allows D.C. bureaucrats to overregulate and infringe on the gun rights of Americans.  This piece of legislation will ensure folks in Kansas and across the country have access to the hearing protection they need while exercising their Second Amendment rights.”U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kansas)

“I am a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and hunters and sportsmen have utilized this right for years.  Oklahomans should not have unnecessary regulations to navigate through to protect their hearing when using firearms.  The Hearing Protection Act is commonsense legislation that cuts regulatory burdens on Oklahoma’s hunters and recreational gun users and ensures they have improved access to devices that protect their hearing when practicing their Second Amendment rights.”U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) 

“Anti-gun activists want to use the regulatory process to chip away at law-abiding Americans’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment right.  Our Hearing Protection Act would repeal the overly burdensome red tape placed for North Dakota’s hunters, sportsmen, and firearms owners who use simple modifications to protect their hearing without stepping on state laws or removing background check requirements.”U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) 

“The scientific consensus is in: suppressors help protect hearing.  That’s why the CDC, NIOSH, and the National Hearing Conservation Association all recommend suppressors as a tool to help mitigate preventable hearing damage.  If enacted, Senator Crapo’s Hearing Protection Act would have a more profound impact on hearing safety than any other legislation in decades.  It’s time for the Senate to follow Senator Crapo’s leadership, listen to the experts at the CDC, and pass this common sense legislation.” – Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association 

“This legislation to remove burdensome regulations surrounding an accessory to a firearm is long overdue.  The firearm industry is grateful to Senator Crapo for his continued leadership to enable safer recreational shooting and hunting to be more accessible to law-abiding gun owners.  The Hearing Protection Act would reduce unnecessary barriers to what is essentially a muffler for a firearm that enables more accurate marksmanship and allows shooting ranges to be better neighbors.  Suppressors were originally listed under the National Firearms Act over poaching concerns during the Great Depression, but that never bore out.  They reduce the report of a firearm from a level equal to a jet taking off to one similar to that of a jackhammer.  Firearm suppressors are a safety device designed to make recreational shooting safer.”Lawrence Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation