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Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Hearing Protection Act

Measure would allow sportsmen to have better access to hearing protection equipment for recreational gun use

PIERRE—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), joined Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and 10 other senators to introduce the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) in the Senate.


“Our commonsense legislation would help protect hearing by eliminating red tape for those seeking to own a firearm suppressor,” said Rounds. “Suppressors have nothing to do with whether guns are ‘silent’ or ‘dangerous’ – they are simply a tool to help protect the hearing of sportsmen.”


On average, suppressors diminish the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels, roughly the same sound reduction provided by earplugs or earmuffs. By further comparison, the most effective suppressors on the market can only reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to around 110-120 decibels. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, that is as loud as a jackhammer (110 dB) or an ambulance siren (120 dB). 


Currently regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA), suppressors are subject to additional regulatory burdens. The HPA would reclassify suppressors to regulate them like traditional firearms. It would remove suppressors from regulation under the NFA, and replace the overly-burdensome federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check, making the purchasing and transfer process for suppressors equal to that as for a rifle or shotgun. The HPA would not change any laws in states that already prevent suppressors, nor does it get rid of the requirement of a background check.


HPA is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the American Suppressor Association, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucus, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Association. In addition to Rounds and Crapo, this measure is cosponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).



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