In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to eliminate federal suppressor regulations:
“Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year. The current process for obtaining a suppressor is far too expensive and burdensome. Our bill would remove these unnecessary federal regulations and make it easier for firearms users to protect themselves.”
Outdoor Life's John Haughey wrote approvingly of this bill in July 2017, when Sen. Lee introduced it in the 115th Congress:
"In addition to proposing a bill that makes sense in the real world, the bill’s two Senate sponsors are clearly advocating on behalf of constituents’ financial interests—which is their job in a representative democracy, despite the conjuring of sinister overtones by gun control zealots."
When this bill was introduced in 2017, gun control groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety condemned it, arguing that "silencers pose a significant danger in the wrong hands":
"Silencers pose a significant danger in the wrong hands, making it harder for bystanders or law enforcement to identify and react quickly to gunshots. In an active shooter situation, for example, hearing and recognizing a gunshot can be a matter of life and death. But radical legislation would repeal all federal laws on firearm silencers, making it legal for convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other people with dangerous histories to buy silencers. These core public safety laws have kept silencers out of criminal hands for decades, without blocking access for law—abiding citizens. The gun lobby presents this legislation as an attempt to protect shooters’ hearing, but silencers are not the most effective or the safest way to do so. Widely available ear protection products work better than silencers to protect hearing and safety — which is why the U.S. military relies on them, not on silencers, to protect soldiers’ hearing. Lawmakers should join law enforcement officers and major law enforcement organizations in rejecting the SHUSH Act and the gun lobby’s dangerous pursuit of profit over safety."
David Chipman, senior policy adviser for the Giffords Law Center for Prevent Gun Violence and a retired ATF special agents, argues that this bill is "reckless," and would make police officers' jobs more dangerous:
“The only people that benefit from this bill are gun lobbyists and criminals who want easier access to deadly weapons. That’s why this irresponsible legislation couldn’t get passed when Republicans had complete control of Congress. Instead of making it easier for firearms that could be used in ambushes and other attacks to enter our streets, Congress should focus on making the job of police officers who are trained to serve and protect our communities and families safer.”
There are five Senate cosponsors of this bill in the 116th Congress. A House version of this bill, introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), has no cosponsors.
Last Congress, this legislation had the support of nine Republican cosponsors in the Senate and didn't receive a committee vote. The House version — introduced by Rep. King with the support of 21 Republican cosponsors — also didn't receive a committee vote.
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: gsagi / iStock)