I’ve been asked to comment on the recently proposed “Hearing Protection Act” being put forth by the American Suppressor Association (ASA). This act, if passed, would remove suppressors (aka silencers) from the National Firearms Act registry. This means you would no longer be required to ask Uncle Sugar for permission to buy a suppressor nor would you be taxed for the privilege of preserving your hearing.
The question isn’t wether we should support the ASA’s efforts with the Hearing Protection Act, that’s a no brainer — ABSOLUTELY we should. However, here’s the rub, it has a no chance of being signed into law by President Obama. If you think, for one moment, Obama would entertain the idea of signing a bill that would make suppressors available without anymore more than a 4473 form and a NICS check, you’re delusional.
Let’s say we had the votes to get it through both the House and the Senate and it went to the Presidents desk for signing. He would call a press conference, chide the Republicans who pushed it through for supporting acts of assassination and terrorism (yes, utter BS), and would quite publicly veto it. Now what? Do we have the votes to override a veto? Most likely, no — we don’t.
So what’s the point?
I suspect the ASA is playing a long game. They must know there’s almost no scenario where this bill passes the House and Senate then goes on to be signed by Obama in 2016. I believe their strategy is to begin to educate the public, see who they can get behind the bill on Capitol Hill, and start the lethargic wheels of government turning for an ultimate victory sometime down the road. Despite the fact we likely won’t see immediate gratification from their efforts, we need to support this bill and help to begin that process. Once we have a friendly POTUS, hopefully we’ll get this passed and forever have suppressors removed from the NFA.
Getting suppressors off the NFA is a good start, however I want the NFA in its entirety repealed. I’m a radical like that.
As a side note;
The NRA recently sent an email out supporting the ASA’s proposed bill. I’m glad the NRA joined the party! Why don’t you keep your promise to challenge the Hughes Amendment in court and unscrew the mess you made by promising President Reagan to fight the Amendment to the FOPA? The Hughes Amendment was slipped in the Firearm Owners Protection Act (aka McClure-Volkmer bill) at the 11th hour and the NRA told Reagan to go ahead and sign it anyway. In case you don’t know what the Hughes Amendment is, it’s the law that bans the manufacture and sale of any new machine guns post 1986.
LaPeirre, then the head of the NRA’s lobbying arm, announced, “Repealing the machine gun ban amendment tacked on to the McClure-Volkmer bill will be a high priority.” LaPierre flat out lied as no one within the NRA lifted a single finger nor filed a single motion in any court to make good on their promise. We need to support the NRA but we must also hold them accountable and demand they fight for our rights. That’s ultimately what we pay them for… and yes, I am a NRA member.
A great big THANK YOU to the ASA for their efforts. They’re doing what larger, better financed, organizations won’t do. The ASA has my 100% support.