Sen. Lee hopes to make getting a firearm silencer easier under new bill

Local Politics

FILE- In this Jan. 19, 2016 file photo, gun silencers are on display at the Sig Sauer booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. Gun silencers like the one used in a recent lethal shooting in Virginia Beach would be banned under legislation that U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey introduced Friday, June 21, 2019. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

WASHINGTON (ABC4) – Utah Senator Mike Lee wants to make getting a silencer for your firearm easier.

A silencer, described by Sen. Lee as “a non-lethal firearm accessory,” is intended to make shooting safer by reducing noise, recoil, and muzzle blast. Though it does not completely silence the firearm, officials say silencers can better protect the hearing of hunters, sportsmen, and marksmen.

Currently, in order to purchase a silencer, you must petition the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) through a process that requires multiple forms, obtaining a certificate from a chief law enforcement officer, fingerprinting, passports, and a $200 check, according to Sen. Lee.

The approval process can then take nine months to a year.

Under a new bill, the Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act of 2021, or SHUSH Act, federal regulations on silencers under the National Firearm Act and the Gun Control Act would be eliminated. It also removes current restrictions on the right to own, transport, transfer, and use a silencer.

If passed, lawmakers say it will work in conjunction with the Hearing Protection Act to achieve similar deregulation while also removing silencers from the Gun Control Act of 1968.

“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.”

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.).

Sen. Lee says the bill is supported by Gun Owners of America, the National Rifle Association, and the National Association for Gun Rights.

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