Texas Congressmen Hope Gun Silencer Bill Finds New Momentum Under Trump Administration

WASHINGTON -- Texas sport shooters in Congress want to make gun silencers cheaper -- but to do it, they’re going to have to make some noise.For two years, more than 80 congressmen have supported a bill that would eliminate a $200 tax enforced on gun silencers, also known as gun suppressors. But even with some bipartisan support and limited opposition, the bill, known as the Hearing Protection Act, hasn’t garnered sufficient momentum to make it out of committee.“We’ve got a lot going on,” said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, who co-sponsored the legislation when it was introduced in 2015. “But if it got out of committee, I think it would pass no problem.”Anyone who wants to purchase a gun silencer must go through a nine-month approval process before paying the tax, on top of the cost of the silencer. Silencers typically cost several hundreds of dollars, and some models cost more than $1,000.If the legislation passes, the nine-month process would be replaced with the much faster National Instant Criminal Background check, which is used for firearms.Advocates have worked hard to frame the hurdles prospective silencer buyers face as a public safety issue, rather than as a gun control issue. They say silencer is a misleading title because the accessory doesn’t fully eliminate the sound of the shot -- it just lowers the decibel count near the shooter’s ear.“We’ve spent a fair amount of time in the last few sessions trying to educate legislators about gun suppressors, about what they do and what they don’t do,” said Owen Miller, who directs outreach for the American Suppressor Association.   Continue reading...

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