Several bills have been introduced that, if passed, would substantially alter the regulation of suppressors. In particular, House Bill H.R. 367 and Senate Bill S. 59 (referred to as the Hearing Protection Act of 2017), which were introduced in January, would remove suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”). Here is what you need to know about H.R. 367 and S. 59:
- If passed, suppressors would no longer be regulated pursuant to the NFA, which requires registration, government approval to purchase, and a $200 transfer tax.
- Instead, suppressors would be regulated pursuant to the Gun Control Act (“GCA”) in the same manner as a regular rifle or shotgun.
- Both H.R. 367 and S. 59 contain provisions that would preempt states or municipalities from imposing special taxation, marking, recordkeeping, or registration requirements for suppressors.
- The only substantive difference between the two bills is that H.R. 367 provides for a refund of the $200 tax on the transfer of suppressors after October 22, 2015, while S. 59 provides for a refund of the $200 tax on the transfer of suppressors after January 9, 2017.
In June, House Bill H.R. 3139 (also known as the Hearing Protection Act of 2017) and S. 1505 (known as the Silencers Help Us Save Hearing “SHUSH” Act) were introduced, also providing for the deregulation of suppressors. H.R. 3139 and S. 1505 are identical to H.R. 367, except that they would also remove suppressors from regulation under the GCA, thereby treating them in the same manner as a firearm accessory, and not even requiring the completion of a 4473 form.
If passed, these laws should increase the demand for suppressors, as well as firearms designed to accept suppressors. There has not been any significant legislative movement on any of the above bills. H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage And Recreational Enhancement (“SHARE”) Act, which was introduced on September 1, 2017, however, also contains a provision related to suppressors, Title XV Hearing Protection, which would remove suppressors from the NFA and regulate them pursuant to the GCA.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP closely monitors legislation and legislative activities that impact the firearms industry, and will continue to monitor these important pieces of legislation.