The number of National Firearm Act items saw a huge jump in the past year — including a 50 percent increase in suppressor registration and 39 percent bump in short-barreled rifles registered — according to new data released by federal regulators.
The report provides an overview of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, which is the federal list of all items, such as suppressors, SBRs, short-barreled shotguns, destructive devices and any other weapons logged under the NFA as of April, and updates figures released in February 2016.
In the 14-month period between reports, the total number of NFA items of all kinds has climbed to 5,203,489 — an overall increase of more than 800,000 items.
While the numbers of AOW’s, machine guns and SBSs all saw negligible increases, the biggest jumps in the 14-month interlude came in the numbers of registered SBRs and suppressors.
More in my column at Guns.com
So you have no doubt heard me talk about the Hearing Protection Act which would eliminate the $200 transfer tax on suppressors by dropping them from NFA rules, but still requires they should be transferred through federal firearms licensees after a background check, regulating them as firearms.
It’s got a ton of sponsors in the House ( 150+, including some Dems) but is likely to stall in the Senate where it only has enough for a serious card game and needs 60.
Well, with that in mind, last week the SHUSH (Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing) Act dropped which would not only remove suppressors from National Firearms Act requirements — a goal of the rival Hearing Protection Act — but also classify them as simple accessories which could be sold over the counter, just like magazines, or butt stocks, or just scopes. It seems odd after more than 80 years of NFA regulation, but that’s how they are sold in the UK and several other countries with gun laws more strict than ours.
Gun control groups don’t know whether to shit or go blind, saying every crook and killer in the future will have a hushable gatt– but in all honesty, you can make an illegal suppressor today from common household items anyway and they are rarely (ATF says ~30 cases in 2015) used in crime, so I’m not sure how factual that argument holds.
Anyway, more on the SHUSH Act in my column at Guns.com
And this great bit from A Scanner Darkly (who doesn’t love PKD) below, and case in point as to why you don’t want to try and suppress the average revolver.
Since 1934, the federal government has treated devices designed to muffle or suppress the report of firearms as Title II devices that required registration under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and mandated transfers that included a $200 tax stamp. The HPA would repeal this requirement and treat suppressors as firearms – which would allow them to be transferred through regular federal firearms license holders to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passes an FBI instant background check.
We spoke with industry insiders about the Hearing Protection Act on the eve of the 146th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta last week, who argued the measure has a fighting chance.
Whelp, back from the annual gathering of the gun tribes in Las Vegas. Saw some interesting things. Did some interesting things. I think the biggest stories, besides the new SIG M17, is was the Hudson H9 and the SilencerCo Maxim 9.
Prefaced by a quiet build up over the past few weeks via social media, the H9 melds a full-sized 9mm semi-auto to a striker-fired pistol with a crisp 1911 trigger that has a .115-inch travel. But the innovative handgun with its cyberpunk panache didn’t just hatch fully formed from an egg last month.
Then there is the Maxim. The pistol, a 9mm that accepts double-stack Glock 17 magazines, can be arranged in either a short or a long configuration– both of which are suppressed. The difference in length between the two options is about an inch, with the full-size configuration measuring 10.75-inches overall and the abbreviated one taping out at 9.54-inches, which is about an inch longer than a standard 1911. Weight varies between 37-39 ounces.
More in the video below and in this piece in my column over at Guns.com.
With the possible removal of silencers/suppressors from National Firearms Act control, a number of legal questions around the devices emerge.
The current mechanism for change, H.R.3799 — the Hearing Protection Act — is stuck in the U.S. House but would likely see a stronger reboot in the next Congress in 2017. If a new bill gains enough momentum to make it through Capitol Hill and onto the waiting desk of President Trump, it would leave a few things undecided if signed into law with its current language.
I spoke with Adam Kraut, an attorney specializing in Second Amendment rights and NFA issues in particular, about just what could be in store.
A Republican trifecta in Washington next year will likely see action on a bill to remove firearm suppressors from National Firearms Act regulation after 82 years.
The Hearing Protection Act was introduced last October by U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., and currently has 78 bipartisan co-sponsors from 34 states. Since then, the HPA has been among the top 10 most-viewed bills on Congress.gov almost every week since it was introduced.
However, with a slim Republican majority in the Senate unable to override a near-certain veto from President Obama, the bill has been in doldrums.
Now, with the White House under new management next year, advocates for the measure feel signs are looking up and will likely return to the next Congress with a fresh mandate.
“Imagine for a second that we lived in a world where you had to pay a $200 tax to buy a pair of earplugs,” Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, the industry trade group for the devices, told me on Wednesday. “Now, imagine that even after paying that tax you still had to wait 8 months before you could bring your earplugs home with you. As silly as that sounds, it’s the world we live in with suppressors in the NFA.”
Maybe not any more…