As 2017 started and the newly elected President of the United States Donald Trump began to make the public relations rounds to newspapers and television conglomerates one suggested piece of legislation above all others made gun owners smile with sheer joy. The proposed legislation was the House Resolution Number 367 of the 115th Congress of the United States, better known as HR367, The Hearing Protection Act of 2017. To the uninformed this proposed bill sounds more like a piece of legislation that would fall under the guidelines of the Federal Governments safety arm, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration rather than one that would have anything at all to do with firearms and the National Firearms Act.

Silencers or Suppressors ? What do they do exactly ?

There is a huge pile of misinformation and paranoia about silencers or suppressors as they are known in some circles ( for the record ATF uses the terms interchangeably when you actually buy one or call them about questions so save the speeches terminology). Much of the paranoia about silencers comes from movies and unfortunately a good deal from some members of the law enforcement community. The silencer as we know it was first designed in 1902 by Hiram Maxim and was actually favored by sportsman of all walks of life, not because it made the gun silent rather it lowered potential damage to shooters ears by almost 40 decibels.

The silencer is essentially in simple terms a muffler for your firearms. It doesn’t make a firearm completely silent anymore than a standard muffler makes the average internal combustion engine 100% silent. This is a fact that many pro 2nd amendment advocates such as the National Rifle Association and the American Suppressor Association have been trying to make known and accepted by many ill-informed legislators for years. Until the recent election these facts fell on deaf ears, that was until Donald Trump Junior, the pro 2nd amendment hunter and gun advocate took up the cause.

President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1894 Carbine with Maxim Silencer

The gun industry and in particular the suppressor manufacturing sector of that industry led by the American Suppressor Association were over joyed by the Presidents Son getting behind making suppressors easier to purchase legally. The great part of the initial thought process and formation of what was to be known as the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 was that the goal was to make suppressors more widely available while still being tracked as if they were firearms in of themselves. That means instead of the 12 month wait to transfer a silencer and a pile of paperwork you would in theory be able to purchase one, fill out a BATFE Form 4473 and if approved walk away with your suppressor the same day, sounds like a good deal right ?

Political Problems, Approval Ratings and Risk vs Reward

In Washington D.C. nothing is as easy at it seems, and when making political promises we have seen repeatedly that ALL politicians stretch the truth and promise the world but don’t make totally good on their promises. It’s just the nature of the beast, and we are seeing in the first 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency that being the President of the United States doesn’t always get you what you want. Even in spite of the most bombastic and far-flung messages you can pack into 140 characters on a twitter account.

Anyone who has taken a political theory class will tell you that every time you rescind a piece of legislation there is a direct cause and effort event. When you are a politician, which President Trump is by default by the very nature of his position even in spite of his claiming not to be, everything has a cost. In the world of politics some actions build you, for lack of better terms “political credit” in the invisible political bank of Capital Hill. This is a potentially difficult dance to perform when you are a Washington insider, let alone a maverick self-proclaimed non politician who has waged open verbal warfare on Congress.