A pro-Second Amendment physicians’ group released a “White Paper” Monday that “provides supporting information for the proposed Hearing Protection Act of 2017.”
The five-page document, which may be read here, overcomes some myths about the devices, which are now regulated under the 1934 National Firearms Act.
“Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership strongly supports making firearm suppressors readily available to the public as a critical health intervention to prevent Americans’ hearing loss,” said DRGO Director, Dr. Arthur Przebinda, in a news release. “Reducing barriers to firearms suppressor ownership and decreasing the likelihood of gunshot blast noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus in tens of millions of U.S. firearms owners will have no material impact on criminal firearms use.”
DRGO is a project of the Second Amendment Foundation.
“Particularly harmful for firearms enthusiasts,” the White Paper explains, “is the explosive blast (or impulse) generated when firing a handgun or rifle. This explosive blast generates 1,000 times more pressure than the actual noise of a gunshot. Such blasts can result in significant, permanent hearing loss with a single exposure of 140 decibels or more, according to OSHA in the above referenced report. 3 This is the same “acoustic blast trauma” suffered by survivors of IEDs on the battlefield. Muzzle blast sound levels for most firearms (handguns, rifles and shotguns) range from 140 to over 170 decibels, more than sufficient to cause instant, permanent hearing damage.”
Legislation has been introduced to remove the red tape from suppressor ownership. Currently, owners must pay a tax and obtain a special license to own the devices. A growing number of recreational shooters have purchased “silencers” over the past few years in an effort to not only save their hearing, but reduce noise at indoor and outdoor shooting ranges.
Suppressors are rarely used in crime, according to various sources.
The White Paper also notes that other countries with much tougher gun laws allow suppressor ownership “entirely unregulated.”
The gun prohibition lobby opposes making suppressors easier to own, claiming that the devices will help criminals.