Sen. Mike Lee reintroduces bill that would eliminate process to purchase gun silencers

    Sen. Mike Lee speaks at a Utah public lands forum hosted by the Sutherland Institute, June 29, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Lee has talked to the White House about a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, he said Friday. But Lee wouldn't say whether his name is among the potential front-runners. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Risch (R-ID), and Mike Crapo (R-ID) reintroduced the Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act of 2019 on Thursday.

    The bill would ensure the elimination of all federal regulations of suppressors, also know as silencers that are used on firearms to decrease the sound from a rifle shot.

    Lee said in a prepared statement:

    Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year. The current process for obtaining a suppressor is far too expensive and burdensome. Our bill would remove these unnecessary federal regulations and make it easier for firearms users to protect themselves.

    Suppressors lower the sound to about 130 decibels at most, which is about the same sound level as a chainsaw, a news release stated.

    A similar bill was first proposed in 2017 by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) as a broad sportsmen’s bill aimed at broadening public access to federal lands for hunting and fishing. His bill also contained some gun provisions, which would have made it easier to buy silencers for firearms.

    However, that provision did not pass and the current process to purchase a suppress stands, which requires registration and a background check under the National Firearms Act.

    A petition must be submitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) with two copies of ATF Form 4, TF Form 5330.20 filled out for certification from a local chief law enforcement officer.

    It additionally includes obtaining two copies of fingerprints and mailing them all in with a $200 check. The approved form then will not come back for another nine to 12 months.

    Lee's bill, S. 202, eliminates that process.

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