Suppressors at the center of House SHARE Act hearings

Nearly two hours of testimony Tuesday on an omnibus new sportsmen’s package were dominated by the topic of removing suppressors from National Firearms Act regulations.

The Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement or SHARE Act, was the subject of hearings this week in the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands. While the measure covers a sweeping list of subjects ranging from good samaritan search and rescue and polar bear conservation, its section on the Hearing Protection Act drew most of the commentary.

“Suppressors are important devices to reduce hearing damage for shooters – my father suffered from it — as well as to reduce noise at shooting ranges located near residential areas,” said subcommittee chair, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calf, in his opening statement. “In my district, this has been a major complaint of residents near a recently-opened outdoor shooting range in Shingle Springs.”

The measure aims to eliminate NFA requirements for silencers and other sound moderators, scrubbing the information on more 1.3 million suppressors currently registered from the books and refunding any $200 transfer tax paid for them since Oct. 22, 2015. In the end, suppressors would be treated as Title I rather than Title II firearms – which would allow them to be transferred through any regular federal firearms license holder to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passes an FBI instant background check.

Invited to address the lawmakers by the minority Democrats on the subcommittee, David Chipman, a former agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives now working for Gabby Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions group, argued the move to cut regulations on the devices would translate to an increased threat to public safety.



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