The Tennessee Senate passed their version of the Hearing Protection Act on Monday by 28-1 that would allow suppressors on guns for the sake of hearing protection. The TN House must now pass it.
In January, Republicans in the National legislature introduced the Hearing Protection Act, as they had the year before with no success. They are hopeful that with a Trump Administration, it will be passed in spite of the Democrats’ objections. The idea is to remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act entirely.
The premise is that hunters can maintain situational awareness in their surroundings if they don’t have to wear ear protection. While a suppressor doesn’t make gunfire totally “silent,” it does reduce sound enough so there is no permanent hearing damage.
Suppressors are important for not just hunters – hunting dogs also suffer hearing loss from the sound of gunfire.
For people who live near shooting ranges, suppressors can reduce the noise in the neighborhood. Some ranges have been closed due to noise complaints.
Of course, the term “silencers” is often used, which conjures up images of killers or spies trying to hide their crimes. Democrats use that description to their advantage. In 2015, UPS even stopped shipping suppressors for an unknown reason.
According to the American Suppressor Association, suppressors have been legal in 42 states, but are heavily regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA). Prospective buyers must send an application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax, then wait anywhere from 8 to 12 months for approval of the purchase. It’s the same process used for machine guns.
More pro-gun laws in TN
The Tennessee Senate also passed Senate Bill 1339, a law allowing firearms owners to take their guns -loaded or unloaded- on motorized boats. It was passed to bring “clarity” to current legislation in the state. The House already passed it, so it is headed to Governor Haslam’s desk for signature.
Two other bills are pending action:
– SB 983 would allow persons under a protection order the right of self-defense while the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit is being completed. The allowance is only good for 2 months.
The other, SB 386, would allow persons convicted of a felony that had their other citizenship rights restored to protect themselves.