The Hearing Protection Act (HPA) includes provisions to remove suppressors from classification under the National Firearms Act (NFA). Created in effort to legalize ownership of suppressors and prevent hearing impairment associated with firearms use, the HPA (H.R. 3799) would not supersede state legislation banning suppressors/silencers. Some states have laws that ban suppressors and those laws would stay in effect. Ultimately, the federal regulations pertaining to suppressors would be removed.
Acquiring suppressors is a long process even after the wide-ranging regulation changes that transpired in 2016 through ATF 41F. The HPA would “provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns” and virtually eliminate the cumbersome process currently in force. Application wait times, $200 tax stamp, fingerprint cards, photos, and CLEO notification would no longer be necessary.
While it may soon be easier to acquire suppressors, the estate planning benefits of gun trusts still remain. Gun trusts continue to preserve gun collections for loved ones, offer legal and safe transfer of items to beneficiaries, and provide confidentiality not possible with a standard will.
An area of controversy within HPA concerns the self-manufacturing of suppressors for personal use. Active NFA legislation that pertains to making firearms for personal use only applies to NFA items. If suppressors are re-classified, they would no longer be restricted under these regulations.