Is it really happening?
Yes, it’s really happening. The Hearing Protection Act (HPA) is headed to Congress — but not as the HPA.
In a press release from the Congress website, the HPA is no longer it’s own bill, as it has been attached to a larger bill, House Resolution 3668 — or the SHARE Act.
The SHARE Act, named the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, has a number of titles that would affect the shooting industry for the better. In it includes a new subsection, Title XV, which provides the change in classification of suppressors from National Firearms Act (NFA) items to standard firearms — aka the Hearing Protection Act.
You can read H.R. 3668 in its entirety here.
For the HPA, the progression in legalization came after a long night of debate earlier this week that included Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), who introduced the bill, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) taking strong stances in favor of the bill, according to Fox News.
The next step includes the House arguing the SHARE Act. If it passes, it will go to the Senate, then, if passed by the Senate will be sent to President Donald Trump. The overall confidence in the bill passing is higher with Trump in office and conservatives controlling the house and senate.
Remind me: What is the hearing protection act?
Sure. The Hearing Protection Act, to phrase it as simply as possible, aims to remove suppressors from the NFA list, making them easier to purchase and thus protecting your hearing.
The story started back on Jan. 9, 2017, when Duncan and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) reintroduced the Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) quickly reintroduced the bill to the Senate. Formally known as H.R. 367 in Congress and S. 59 in the Senate, its goal is to remove suppressors from the scope of the NFA and replace the outdated federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check (NCIS). The bill also includes a tax credit provision for the $200 transfer tax on any suppressor after Oct. 22, 2015.
This wasn’t the first attempt to remove suppressors from the NFA list. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) originally introduced the idea back in 2015 — the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 — but the bill died out following his retirement.
How can I support the Hearing Protection Act?
The American Suppressor Association (ASA) leads the charge for passing the Hearing Protection Act. On its website, a tab labeled “Support HPA” gives supporters an option to help the cause. On the page, an excerpt reads:
“As we fight for our right to shoot quietly, we need your help to make sure our voice is heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill. Please take the time to fill out the form below so that you can send an email to your Representatives and Senators to let them know that you support the Hearing Protection Act.”
For a bill that simply makes it easier to protect your hearing and that of other shooters and hunters, the Hearing Protection Act just makes sense. As the ASA says, contact your legislators today and help pass this bill.
Featured image: iStock