On March 24 the New York Times published an editorial mocking the NRA for appealing to the hearing benefits of firearm suppressors during the push for deregulation of the devices.
The legislation supported by the NRA is the Hearing Protection Act, a bill which removes suppressors from the auspices of the National Firearms Act (1934) in order to streamline the process law-abiding citizens must go through to purchase one. The current process requires a would-be buyer to be fingerprinted, photographed, and submit to a background check. Moreover, the buyer has to pay the federal government a $200 tax and register the suppressor with the ATF. The entire process takes six to eight months. The Hearing Protection Act would change this, allowing law-abiding citizens to buy suppressors by simply passing the same background check they pass to buy a gun at retail.
In an editorial titled “Echoes of Gunfire Hurt Tender NRA Ears,” NYT said:
The National Rifle Association argues, self-servingly, that noisy guns are a public health hazard. With supporters like President Trump’s son Donald Jr., …it wants to roll back an 80-year-old federal law that tightly controls the sale of firearms silencers. Immune to irony, the NRA’s congressional friends have introduced a measure called the Hearing Protection Act, which contends that the sound of gunfire is hard on the ears of gun owners.
They then make claims similar to those put forward by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Gabby Gifford’s gun control group, and others, saying, “When it comes to public health, the noisier a gun is the better the chances for innocent bystanders to hit the ground and for police officers to apprehend the shooter.”
It is interesting to note that on March 20–four days before the NYT regurgitated the argument of Gillibrand and others–The Washington Post rejected claims that firearm suppressors will allow guns to be used criminally without detection. WaPo give Gillibrand’s claims three Pinnochios, indicating such claims contain “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.