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.

Suppressors, items that are attached to or part of a firearm to silence noise during firing, require long and complicated legal procedures to acquire items. While the process is lengthy and complex, that has not deterred a large population of gun owners. Nearly one million suppressors are included in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, according to Learn about buying a silencer with a gun trust.

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.

Analysts and gun advocacy organizations anticipate swift passing of HPA following Trump’s inauguration. Gun enthusiasm collective Bearing Arms forecasts President-elect Trump will sign the HPA into law within his first 60 days in office. Sign up for our gun law blog (sign up form on the right side) and receive updates on the law as they occur.