Senator Seeks to Remove Suppressors from NFA Regulation

by Vern Evans
FN Catch 22Ti rimfire suppressor silencer

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In a move lauded by Second Amendment supporters, Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) is poised to introduce legislation that would remove gun silencers from federal regulation, a significant shift in firearm accessory laws. Titled the Silencers Help Us Save Hearing Act, or SHUSH Act, the bill aims to entirely deregulate suppressors, eliminate associated penalties, and extend concealed carry privileges with silenced firearms to current and retired law enforcement officials.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Rep. Good expressed his broader intention behind the proposed legislation, emphasizing both Second Amendment rights and the reduction of bureaucratic hurdles in firearm safety accessory procurement. “I oppose any form of regulation or tax on the people’s right to keep and bear arms,” Good told the Examiner. “No constitutional right should be at risk due to public opinion, or subject to regulatory and tax burdens. These rights certainly extend to the procurement of safety accessories for firearms.”

Suppressors, intermittently referred to as silencers, attach to the barrel of a firearm to minimize the noise and muzzle flash produced upon firing. Despite common misconceptions fueled by their portrayal in films and television, suppressors do not silence guns but reduce the firing sound to safer levels, helping prevent hearing loss among shooters.

The current legal process for acquiring a suppressor is governed by the National Firearms Act, which mandates a thorough approval process, including registration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and a $200 tax. This process can delay the acquisition of a suppressor for over a year, frustrating many potential buyers.

Moreover, the SHUSH Act would overturn suppressor bans in several states and territories, including California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, where these devices are currently prohibited.

Rep. Good’s proposal represents a significant deregulatory effort in the realm of gun laws, aiming to streamline processes and affirm constitutional rights without the burden of what supporters consider excessive regulation. As the bill moves toward introduction, it stirs a potent discussion on the balance between firearm regulation and individual rights, setting the stage for a robust debate in Congress.

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