Custer County (Neb.) Chief

Fischer, colleagues reintroduce Hearing Protection Act

Office of Sen. Deb Fischer

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and 26 of her Senate colleagues reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) this month, legislation that would reclassify suppressors to regulate them like a regular firearm.

The measure would benefit Nebraska’s recreational gun users and provide them better access to hearing protection equipment. U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) led the introduction of the bill.

“Nebraska hunters and sportsmen may use suppressors to protect their hearing during outdoor recreation activities. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Hearing Protection AAct to improve access to suppressors for recreationists by cutting the red tape that makes this equipment difficult to obtain,” said Sen. Fischer.
The Hearing Protection Act is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the American Suppressor Association (ASA), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

In addition to Sens. Fischer and Crapo, the legislation was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Suppressors are currently subject to additional regulatory burdens under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The HPA would remove suppressors from regulation under the NFA and replace the overly-burdensome federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check. This process would make the purchasing and transfer process for suppressors equal to that as for a rifle or shotgun. Also, the HPA would put more funding into state wildlife conservation agencies by taxing suppressors under the Pittman-Robertson Act instead of the NFA.

On average, suppressors diminish the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels, roughly the same sound reduction provided by earplugs or earmuffs. The most effective suppressors on the market can only reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to around 110-120 decibels, which is roughly equivalent to a jackhammer.

Full bill text is available here.