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Old 02-19-2018, 04:14 PM
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H.R. 367-Hearing Protection Act of 2017

Here is a link to the actual resolution.

In what way do noise suppressors/silencers protect hearing better than currently available earplugs and earmuffs?
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:43 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Here is a link to the actual resolution.

In what way do noise suppressors/silencers protect hearing better than currently available earplugs and earmuffs?
If suppressors were easier to get, I imagine that some shooters would use them in addition to ear protection and not necessarily in place of.

They are, in some ways, more convenient. For example, wearing over-the-ear muffs while shooting can make it difficult for some people to properly align the sights, or get a good cheek weld.

ETA: but my impression is that in overall hearing protection, they're comparable to hearing protection, not necessarily better.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 02-19-2018 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:48 PM
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They are, in some ways, more convenient. For example, wearing over-the-ear muffs while shooting can make it difficult for some people to properly align the sights, or get a good cheek weld.
What about earplugs, which I also mentioned?
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:52 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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What about earplugs, which I also mentioned?
Earplugs don't have that same downside. People who aren't very familiar with them sometimes have trouble getting them inserted properly to be effective, but I've never heard anyone complain that in-the-ear hearing protection interferes with the proper use of a firearm.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:06 PM
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What about earplugs, which I also mentioned?
Earplugs reduce all sounds. That means that a shooter cannot hear normal conversation, listen to instructions, listen for game, etc. Normal (non-electronic) ear muffs and earplugs are very inconvenient to use at a range, and impractical for hunting.

Although not a perfect analogy, should we all wear earplugs or muffs when driving our cars, instead of fitting the vehicles with mufflers to reduce the noise?

And as far as being a bill to cut taxes, you need to consider that the "tax" on suppressors is $200 per item, not the 6% sales tax most people think about.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:12 PM
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Earplugs reduce all sounds. That means that a shooter cannot hear normal conversation, listen to instructions, listen for game, etc. Normal (non-electronic) ear muffs and earplugs are very inconvenient to use at a range, and impractical for hunting.

Although not a perfect analogy, should we all wear earplugs or muffs when driving our cars, instead of fitting the vehicles with mufflers to reduce the noise?

And as far as being a bill to cut taxes, you need to consider that the "tax" on suppressors is $200 per item, not the 6% sales tax most people think about.
Is there a reason the tax is that high?
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:29 PM
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Never mind.

Last edited by Fenris; 02-20-2018 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:33 PM
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Is there a reason the tax is that high?
Because suppressors are in the same legal category as machine guns, according to federal gun laws. You have to fill out extra paperwork and pay the $200 tax for each item. From what I read, it takes six months or so to get approved to buy a suppressor, plus the fee.

It's a bit ironic that suppressors are sold over the counter with no special fees or approvals in many countries that have more stringent gun laws than the US. They are considered to be beneficial to both shooters and neighbors.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:36 PM
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And as far as being a bill to cut taxes, you need to consider that the "tax" on suppressors is $200 per item, not the 6% sales tax most people think about.
Also it currently takes the ATF 90 days or more to process the paperwork for paying the tax, which the bill completely eliminates.

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Is there a reason the tax is that high?
In 1934 when the law was originally passed it was intended to be so high that it would function as a de facto ban while technically only being a tax regulation that would be less open to court challenge. "As the legislative history of the law discloses, its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms" https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regula...l-firearms-act

Last edited by Pantastic; 02-20-2018 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:27 PM
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In 1934 when the law was originally passed it was intended to be so high that it would function as a de facto ban while technically only being a tax regulation that would be less open to court challenge.
Exactly. The $200 tax was quite extreme at the time (equivalent to $3,659 in 2017).
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:44 PM
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They make it quieter for everyone (who may or may not be wearing hearing protection), not just the shooter.

Last edited by Dickerman; 02-19-2018 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:56 PM
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They make it somewhat quieter, mind you, if you're at the range you should still wear the earplugs. And good earplugs properly used do protect quite well.

OTOH this bill's short title is an example of a sort of legislative drafting preciousness that has always annoyed me. If you want to file a bill to cut the transfer tax on suppressors, which sounds like a straightfoward market policy matter, no need for styling it the "Hearing Protection Act of 2017" except that in the short-form list of filed bills it will look like some health-related initiative. At least they did not ask the clerks to make up a title to backfit an acronym as with PROMESA or PROTECT Act.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-19-2018 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:34 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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OTOH this bill's short title is an example of a sort of legislative drafting preciousness that has always annoyed me. If you want to file a bill to cut the transfer tax on suppressors, which sounds like a straightfoward market policy matter, no need for styling it the "Hearing Protection Act of 2017" except that in the short-form list of filed bills it will look like some health-related initiative.
Right -- a bill to make it easier/cheaper to buy gun silencers is disguised as a health protection measure. How sneaky!
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:32 AM
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Right -- a bill to make it easier/cheaper to buy gun silencers is disguised as a health protection measure. How sneaky!
Are you claiming that suppressors do NOT muffle the noise, and thereby protect people's hearing?
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:12 PM
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Right -- a bill to make it easier/cheaper to buy gun silencers is disguised as a health protection measure. How sneaky!
Hey, it is a health issue. Too many of our murderers are being caught. We need to make it safer for them.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:21 PM
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Hey, it is a health issue. Too many of our murderers are being caught. We need to make it safer for them.
GQ answer: unsuppressed firearms are LOUD. Suppressed firearms are... still loud.

They are legal and often over the counter in most other countries, even those with strict gun control.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
They make it somewhat quieter, mind you, if you're at the range you should still wear the earplugs. And good earplugs properly used do protect quite well.

OTOH this bill's short title is an example of a sort of legislative drafting preciousness that has always annoyed me. If you want to file a bill to cut the transfer tax on suppressors, which sounds like a straightfoward market policy matter, no need for styling it the "Hearing Protection Act of 2017" except that in the short-form list of filed bills it will look like some health-related initiative. At least they did not ask the clerks to make up a title to backfit an acronym as with PROMESA or PROTECT Act.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:56 PM
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Few hunters wear hearing protection, it interferes with locating game. Though in many types of hunting, a suppressor is not always the best choice, they're usually big and unwieldy. At the range, it can potentially reduce the discomfort of your neighbors, especially at indoor ranges.

It's also not an either/or thing: you can use a suppressor and wear hearing protection simultaneously. Just because a sound doesn't cause physical pain, it doesn't mean that it is harmless. .22 and birdshot are not painful to hear, but hearing protection is recommended if possible.
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:33 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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H.R. 367-Hearing Protection Act of 2017

If I file a bill to cut taxes on aspirin, should I call it the Cardiac Clot Prevention Act? Yes, this is a bill to cut taxes on A hearing safety device. Not even on all of them. The title is too grandiose.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-20-2018 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:19 AM
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If there's a home invader in your house you probably don't want to take the time to put on your earmuffs after grabbing your weapon.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:05 PM
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If there's a home invader in your house you probably don't want to take the time to put on your earmuffs after grabbing your weapon.
Would attaching a silencer take less time?
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
If I file a bill to cut taxes on aspirin, should I call it the Cardiac Clot Prevention Act? Yes, this is a bill to cut taxes on A hearing safety device. Not even on all of them. The title is too grandiose.
Grandiose bill names are hardly new. The Patriot Act is "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001". I'm sure there are older examples.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:12 PM
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You can leave a silencer attached to your gun at all times. Sleeping with earplugs or earmuffs at all times is less practical.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:54 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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I suspect that some of the opposition to legalizing suppressors is due to Hollywood's portrayal of "silenced" gunfire. The noise made by a Hollywood silenced pistol is a quiet cough, which could well be used to commit depredations without being caught. Real suppressed gunfire is LOUD, just not as loud as unsuppressed.

Attempting to covertly knock off your opponent using a suppressor is about as practical as using magnets to climb through the ductwork, another Hollywood standby. ("Thor, the God of Thunder is trying to enter my building!" -- Adam Savage)



"
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:17 PM
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I suspect that some of the opposition to legalizing suppressors is due to Hollywood's portrayal of "silenced" gunfire. The noise made by a Hollywood silenced pistol is a quiet cough, which could well be used to commit depredations without being caught. Real suppressed gunfire is LOUD, just not as loud as unsuppressed.

Attempting to covertly knock off your opponent using a suppressor is about as practical as using magnets to climb through the ductwork, another Hollywood standby. ("Thor, the God of Thunder is trying to enter my building!" -- Adam Savage)
Gunfire from a suppressor isn’t silent; it’s still loud, maybe equivalent to an ambulance siren. So no, you’re not suddenly a gun ninja. But it does distort the sound enough to make it possibly be mistaken as something other than a gunshot. Suppressors also typically suppress muzzle flash (“flash suppressors” on rifles explicitly do this without suppressing sound) which can also make your actions a bit more covert. Another quirk of suppressors is that the ballistic crack of a supersonic round may be louder than the sound of the gun firing itself, which makes it difficult to determine where the shot came from. Listeners may be misled into following where the bullet went rather than where it came from.

All of those factors can give an advantage to a shooter concealing his actions even if it doesn’t work nearly as well as what you see in a movie.
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:22 PM
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Yeah, I would not mind the devices being put into the regular OTC firearms accessory market, really. You are just as hurt when shot with a suppressed gun as with an unsuppressed one...

I just find calling it the Hearing Protection Act cuter than it needs to be.
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