With pro-gun President-elect Donald Trump heading to the White House, substantial deregulation regarding firearm suppressors could be a reality.
The use of suppressors is legal in 42 states and certainly provide protections to the environment and the human ear. But the path to acquiring a suppressor is circuitous because the items are regulated under the auspices of the National Firearm Act (1934).
This means acquisition of a suppressor requires finger prints, photographs of the purchaser, a background check, a $200 federal tax, and registration. Such regulations not only raises the price of suppressors but also increases the time it takes to purchase one.
A waiting period of 4 to 6 months is not uncommon.
Under President Trump this can change. Donald Trump Jr. made this clear during a September 26 interview with SilencerCo, in which he said:
I’ve had the privilege of being able to hunt in Europe, where some of the strictest gun laws in the world exist. And guess what, virtually every hunting gun there is suppressed. It’s about safety. If you have that kind of noise levels in any of industry, like you do shooting sports, OSHA would be going crazy. It’s about safety.
Don Jr. went on to describe the regulation surrounding suppressors as “just another rule the government wants to put in place for no reason.” He added, “If Europe can do it, America better well be able to do it.”
SilencerCo’s CEO Joshua Waldron stated that “it’s crazy to be behind the curve” on suppressors, when contrasted with Europe. And Don Jr. concurred, saying it is the result of “arbitrary policies [made] by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Waldron then brought up Representative Matt Salmon’s (R-AZ-5) Hearing Protection Act; a legislative push that would remove suppressors from National Firearms Act oversight so Americans could more easily acquire them for hearing protection while target shooting or hunting. He asked if President-elect Trump would support such changes once in office, and Don Jr. said, “We want to go through Congress, want to do it the right way, but if you line up those votes he is obviously going to be for it.”
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.