The Tennessee General Assembly recently passed a bill that legalizes the use of silencers on firearms. Silencers, also referred to as suppressors, are banned items in Tennessee unless possessed in accordance with the National Firearms Act. The bill was signed by the governor earlier this month and lifts the ban on silencers effective July 1, 2017. The dramatic changes apply to:
- Possession of silencers
- Manufacture of silencers
- Transport of silencers
- Repair of silencers
- Sale of silencers
Residents, non-residents traveling through the state, firearms manufacturers, gunsmiths, and gun sellers will experience greater flexibility in possessing, managing, and acquiring firearms.
The bill, currently referred to as the Tennessee Hearing Protection Act, differs from the pending federal Hearing Protection Act, but both were ultimately implemented for similar purposes. Tennessee lawmakers were prompted by the high rates of hearing impairment associated with repeated or long-term exposure to gunshot firing in shooting sports. Silencers can help minimize the risk of hearing loss.
Silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act. The process for silencer acquisition requires extensive documentation. If passed, the federal HPA would re-classify silencers and remove the lengthy application wait times, photo and fingerprint requirements, tax stamp, and CLEO notification.
Possession and sharing of NFA items carries many serious risks. Gun trusts offer wide flexibility for legal sharing of firearms during one’s life and manage proper transfer upon the trust grantor’s death. In most circumstances, it is in the gun owner’s best interest to establish a gun trust prior to acquiring firearms. The trust can be amended at any time and new items, both NFA and non-NFA, can be transferred to the trust. Learn more about buying a silencer with a gun trust.