Suppressors - The First Battle In The New Push For Gun Rights

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Duane at Free Market Shooter blog,

Donald Trump Jr. firing a suppressed rifle

The first push for gun rights in the upcoming Trump administration is already shaping up, and Trump hasn’t even taken office yet.

The Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA) was introduced a week ago today, on Monday January 9th.  The bill is aimed at removing suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA), which requires an extremely difficult application process and a $200 “tax stamp” to “transfer” ownership from one individual to another.  The NRA sums up the truth on suppressors and the HPA below:

The HPA would remove sound suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and treat them as ordinary firearms under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). As with other firearms, commercial manufacturers, dealers, and importers would still have to be licensed, and the items’ retail sales would be subject to the GCA’s background check and transfer form requirements.


Currently, suppressors (misleadingly referred to as “silencers” in federal law) are subject to the NFA’s cumbersome and lengthy application process and a $200 tax stamp. Lawful purchasers can expect a raft of red tape and months of waiting. This is so, even though the devices themselves are completely harmless and very rarely used in crime.


Contrary to their portrayal in movies and television shows, suppressors do not render firearms all but soundless. They do, however, make them safer and quieter to operate.


Suppressors have soared in popularity in recent years, as more and more hunters and firearm owners have discovered their benefits. Private ownership is legal in 42 states, and they are lawful for hunting in 40 of those states.


Ironically, regulation of suppressors is one area where American gun owners are at a relative disadvantage to their counterparts in other countries. In England – which has gone a long way toward eradicating private firearm ownership – suppressors are nevertheless encouraged for private firearm owners and mandatory for uses such as pest control. 

I’ve previously detailed this exact point – suppressors are hardly the scourge the gun control crowd portrays them as.  The sound reduction is in the 20-30db range, maximum, and that sound reduction is only achieved by attaching a large, bulky device to the barrel of a firearm.  Given the fact that the sound reduction still keeps the firearm quite loud, even for a .22LR (generally considered the smallest widely available caliber), it is hardly practical for criminals to use them.

Take a look at the above chart – if you assume a 160db shot can be suppressed to 130db (still quite loud), the only real practical use for suppressors is to reduce the net effect of the deafening sound of a gunshot.  The excessive noise of gunshots is a nuisance for anyone nearby (within a mile or more), makes building and licensing shooting ranges difficult due to NIMBY, and the same nuisance problems apply for hunting.

Just think – would you want to hear the constant sound of gunshots from a shooting range near your home?  If firearm suppression were to become more commonplace, it would make the devices less of an auditory threat to the user and non-user alike.  Would automobiles have become as commonplace as they are today without mufflers?

However, that hasn’t stopped the MSM from jumping in to demonize suppressors.  Jeff Bezos’s blog, The Washington Post, recently released an article with the click-bait headline “Gun silencers are hard to buy. Donald Trump Jr. and silencer makers want to change that.”  WaPo did manage to push another bit of fake news in the article with its quote from the gun control crowd:

The silencer industry and gun rights groups say critics are vastly overstating the dangers, arguing that Hollywood has created an unrealistic image of silencers, which they prefer to call “suppressors.” They cite studies showing that silencers reduce the decibel level of a gunshot from a dangerous 165 to about 135 — the sound of a jackhammer — and that they are rarely used in crimes.


But gun-control activists say silencers are getting quieter, particularly in combination with subsonic ammunition, which is less lethal but still damaging. They point to videos on YouTube in which silencers make high-powered rifles have “no more sound than a pellet gun,” according to one demonstrator showing off a silenced semiautomatic ­.22LR.

If you check out the video cited by the gun control, you’ll realize the firearm is still quite auditory.  Not only that, the .22LR caliber is extremely weak, commonly being used to hunt animals of squirrel size, and the subsonic ammunition used for maximum suppression could have difficulty cycling the action of the gun.  Take a look at the videos in my original article to get an accurate idea of what sound suppression in firearms is actually like.

Sebastian of PA Gun Blog detailed the way this battle will be won and suppressors moved out of NFA restriction:

You can hate the Washington Post’s ignorant article about suppressors, but I have to admit that tying it to the Trumps was an effin’ brilliant way to frame the issue if the aim is to derail the bill. Why? Because most people don’t really give a shit or understand this issue, but if you try to imply the Trumps have something to gain from it, you trigger all the lefty hate rage, and that gets people who otherwise wouldn’t care motivated to oppose it. If the Trumps want it, surely it must be the Worst. Idea. Ever. That’s exactly what I’m seeing around social media.


The key is to speak out in favor of the issue. Put a human face on it. A lot of the same folks who complain about this bill are the same types who complain about noise emanating from gun clubs. Imagine if clubs could encourage members to use suppression? Right now that’s not a reasonable request because of the regulations. Push the training angle, and how it makes it much safer during instruction if the person being instructed can actually hear commands. This is one of those issues where we have really good arguments, and the other side is stuck hoping people believe Hollywood portrayals of how silencers work, and are willing to jump in and ra! ra! team! in opposition is the issue is framed in a way that triggers an emotional response.

The easiest way to win the battle is to show people the truth about what these devices are, and what they aren’t.  Listen to Sebastian and put a human face on the issue.  In addition, put an inhuman face on The Washington Post – Jeff Bezos – and expose the ignorance and duplicity of the MSM and Hollywood’s portrayal of suppressors.

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Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) Jan 17, 2017 7:47 PM


nmewn's picture

I have to admit, I've been carrying "illegal" all these years ;-)

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) nmewn Jan 17, 2017 8:11 PM

Add to this the national right to wear a concealed Gun and we're set.

as in Rep. Hudson Introduces National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill that will apply also to Non-Resident Gun Carry Permits

By the end of 2017 we're lock and loaded and ready to roll. SILENTLY and CONCEALED.

HockeyFool's picture

I don't trust this website you link to constantly. My laptop has locked up twice on the last 3 links of yours I clicked on. No more.

erkme73's picture

I've got two suppressors in hand with all the proper NFA paperwork and tax stamp completed.  I have three more (2 x Form 1,  1 x Form 4) submitted with the ATFBE.   If this should pass before I get my tax stamps returned, I wonder if I can get a refund.

Never made sense to me why a suppressor is somehow evil, but a car muffler isn't.

TrajanOptimus's picture

My favorite: A suppressed short barreled rifle with a lancer 30 round mag. 2x the tax, illegal in California...


Makes any Liberal's head explode. Figuratively of course.................

False_Profit's picture


No permit concealed or open carry.

847328_3527's picture

Right now, only thugs are allowed to carry concealed weapons. The legit citizens have to file paperwork, etc.

Croesus's picture

Funny part is, in some countries, guns are almost impossible to get, but you can buy suppressors at their hardware paperwork at all.

SoDamnMad's picture

What countries?  They all seem to require a national license in Europe?

flaminratzazz's picture

ditto, i dont "do" their paper work

Nobodys Home's picture

I don't "carry". Because I don't want to sign up to another .gov list that points to me as a gun owner.

Oldwood's picture

It won't matter if they know you have a gun or not. If they outlaw them and you don't turn them in, you will be just as illegal if they are on record or not.

My theory is that we should be BLATANT and EVERYWHERE so as to maintain a certain level of shock and awe. The more we slink about and hide, the easier it is to label us as extremist AND a fringe minority.

IndyPat's picture

Right on, Oldwood!

You've really come around.

Cynicles's picture

The Gov will want names of those doing so; must keep tabs on evil Constitutionalists.

Crush the cube's picture

Already happening in ND, bill has been introduced, no permit required for concealed or open carry.  Now to get it passed.  It didn't work as libs thought, half the women in state carry concealed, it's the women who went all out after the CCWP's.  Men just carry unannounced either way. ;)  Who worries about red tape in a gunfight, guess women only. 

Salsa Verde's picture

How about telling Ca liberals to fuck off and let us have our standard capacity magazines and release buttons?

Nobodys Home's picture

No lead for you! You want "bullet buttons" Move.
Fucking retards!

swampmanlives's picture

They also help reduce the amount of lead vapor you breath in.

JusticeTBuford's picture

How about getting the smelters back to work here as well?

Nobodys Home's picture

Really! That was a backdoor if I've ever seen one. Good thing lead melts at a low temp and there is plenty still sold for flashing. oops shhh! Don't talk about that or they'll pull that off the market too. I was thinking of supplies to own if the shtf....and lead flashing was one I thought might be valuable.

countryboy42's picture

Too soft, try tire weights or you can still buy #2 linotype in bulk for about $2.35/lb.

I am all for removing the restrictions and tax stamp for cans. That said, I fucking hate installing adaptors.

IndyPat's picture


With a Swiss army surplus crank field phone set.
Very effective.

unsafe-space-time's picture

Who said a bullet has to be made of lead? How about copper,brass or zinc ect?

XqWretch's picture

We need to suppress the idiots over at the Washington Post

mary mary's picture

Yes!  I will work in that fight.

Barney Fife's picture

Christ, just repeal the fucking NFA and be done with it. 

Nobodys Home's picture

Hey Barn. Yep. That made a $700 machine gun worth $15,000.

GlobalMapper's picture

Exactly.  Why the hell are SBRs NFA?

Moe Howard's picture

Because they are scary. Esp. with a folding stock.


SBR is the next thing they need to remove from the NFA. Total bullshit.

wisebastard's picture

make one out a fucking oil filter 

nmewn's picture

Only for current "legalities"...which changes.

Billy the Poet's picture

To what end? I imagine that most ranges would frown on members using improvised suppressors. So if you want to go out in the woods and stick a potato on your barrel then have fun.

0valueleft's picture

It's so great in Ireland, you can't buy guns anywhere, but every grocery store has suppressors, bags of them for only a few euros.

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Just need to machine the end of the barrel for the threads

Nobodys Home's picture

Machine?....a tap and die set will do it...

countryboy42's picture

Yeah, sortta. If your threads are not parallel to the bore, and shoulder square, you risk launching your can further than the bullet. I have seen 2 cans so far get destroyed due to bad machining. PTG makes a caliber specific rod to check for clearance around the bore.

83_vf_1100_c's picture

Not really. On a semiauto pistol the barrel does not extend beyond the slide and there is nothing to screw that suppressor on to. You gotta buy a longer barrel in which case you just buy the pre threaded one from the manufacturer. I see no need for a suppressor on my carry pistol, I want it to go bang very loudly and don't want a freaking 18" long 1911 strapped to my side. On the range, yeah, a suppressor has merit. Practicality aside, there is no good reason to make them illegal. Your average hitman who needs one will have it.

Oldwood's picture

The only practical purpose for most of us for a suppressor on a pistol is for range work. Not a lot of pistol hunters out there. As you say, it's not an inexpensive prospect to put a suppressor on a pistol. It's mostly a long gun thing...which statistically has not been a principle weapon in homicides.

SoDamnMad's picture

I also am surprised at the people who go through hoops to buy a longer barrel, a tax stamp, suppressor and go to the range and discover the 9mm suppressed pistol is not dead silent.  A 22 maybe but nothing larger than that.

wisebastard's picture

make one out a fucking oil filter 

valjoux7750's picture

How stupid would you look with an oil filter hanging off the end of your gun?  might as well use a potatoes, or better yet use a watermelon. Lol

Ignatius's picture

When you have to kill someone that's bad enough.  Why wake the dog?

mtanimal's picture

LOL, and you make an excellent point - if indirectly.

Why should my very expensive well-trained watch dogs suffer hearing damage after they alert me to an intruder?

Hell, I may make an attachment harness for my dog to carry suppressors and clips for me.

ghengis86's picture

Why you need clips; you shooting an M1 Garand or something? Sorry but my two pet peeves are silencers and clips when someone means suppressors and magazines.

(If you really do have stripper clips to load up Old Yeller, I apologize in advance)