WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced the Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act of 2021, or SHUSH Act, a bill to eliminate the unnecessary regulation of suppressors. The SHUSH Act is cosponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), and the House companion legislation is sponsored by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.).
Silencers are a non-lethal firearm accessory used by hunters, sportsmen, and marksmen to make shooting safer by reducing—though not completely silencing—noise, recoil, and muzzle blast.
Currently, citizens who wish to buy silencers must petition the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) through a tedious process that requires completing two copies of ATF Form 4, filling out TF Form 5330.20, obtaining a certification from a local chief law enforcement officer, obtaining two copies of finger prints, obtaining two passport photos, and mailing all of these items plus a $200 check to the ATF. After doing so, the approval process can take another 9-12 months. These requirements make the purchase of a non-lethal firearm accessory onerous and prohibitively costly.
“The current, oppressive process required to buy silencers only hurts the eardrums of millions of hunters, sportsmen, and marksmen each year, and serves to provide surreptitious gun control,” said Sen. Lee. “The SHUSH Act would eliminate this onerous regulation to make a perfectly legal sport safer for millions of Americans.”
“Streamlining the burdensome process for obtaining a suppressor is important to protect the hearing of hunters and sportsmen across America,” said Sen. Cruz. “I’m proud to cosponsor this common sense legislation to protect the Second Amendment rights of law abiding gun owners.”
“I oppose regulating or taxing the People’s right to keep and bear arms,” said Rep. Good. “No constitutional right should be at risk due to public opinion, or subject to regulatory and tax burdens. For the 2nd Amendment, this sentiment certainly extends to safety accessories for firearms. I am proud to join Senator Mike Lee in introducing legislation that would eliminate the current antiquated and overly complicated process for acquiring suppressors and ensure that their purchase is no longer subject to federal regulation.”
Specifically, the bill eliminates federal regulation of silencers under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and the Gun Control Act (GCA), removing overly burdensome taxes, fees, and registration requirements. The bill removes current restrictions on the right to own, transport, transfer and use a silencer. If passed, it will work in conjunction with the Hearing Protection Act to achieve similar deregulation while additionally removing silencers from the Gun Control Act of 1968.
The bill is supported by Gun Owners of America, the National Rifle Association, and the National Association for Gun Rights.
“Gun Owners of America applauds the introduction of the 'Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act' (SHUSH) Act. The SHUSH Act would not only remove suppressors from the federal regulations of the National Firearms Act, but also treat suppressors as any other firearm accessory – free from the infringing background check process. Senator Lee’s bill will not only benefit hunters and sport shooters, but also take much needed steps for gun owners to restore the rights protected by the Second Amendment.”
- Aidan Johnston, Director of Government Affairs, Gun Owners of America
“Suppressors are accessories and should be treated just like magazines, scopes or gun stocks. Treating an accessory the same as a gun sets a bad precedence for anti-gun legislators to further regulate other accessories in the future. There’s no reason they should be subjected to the Brady registration scheme. We’re happy and privileged to be able to work with Sen. Lee and Rep. Good on this legislation, and excited to continue pushing forward."
- Dudley Brown, President, National Association for Gun Rights