WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona, is proposing a bill that would effectively remove the tax stamp on firearm silencers under the premise that it would benefit the hearing of practicing gun owners.
According to the text from HR 3799, aka the “Hearing Protection Act of 2015”, firearm silencers would be classified under the same rules as firearms — no longer obligated under a tax stamp from the IRS.
“(f) Firearm silencers.—A person acquiring or possessing a firearm silencer in accordance with Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, shall be treated as meeting any registration and licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act (as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this subsection) with respect to such silencer.”
If it passes the House and moves through the Senate, this could mean a big change in how gun owners are able to acquire and use silencers. This measure has broadly been supported by both the American Suppressors Association and National Rifle Association, according to both of their websites.
“The American Suppressor Association believes that citizens should not have to pay a tax to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA in a press release.
Even with the hurdles this bill has to pass before it may be enacted into law, it definitely brings the argument front and center that suppressors and silencers commonly find a use in hearing preservation. Repeated exposure to the loud decibel noises emitted from firearms during range practice and hunting can exercise an intolerable strain on the gunowner — even leading to permanent, significant hearing damage.
Do you think the use of suppressors in firearms training would significantly reduce the impact of hearing loss — or do you feel the tax-stamp is warranted? Tell us in the comments section below.