Could the complete deregulation of silencers (also called “suppressors”) be near? That’s the goal of a new bill introduced simultaneously to the House and Senate, which seeks to invalidate the provisions pertaining to silencers of the National Firearms Act, entirely. The bill, called the SHUSH (Silencers Help Us Save Hearing) Act, would nullify the NFA’s requirements for silencer registration via two modifications: First, by making anyone seeking to purchase a silencer (who is otherwise acting within the law) automatically meet the NFA’s requirements; and second, by invalidating all state regulations regarding silencers. Further, these changes would retroactively apply to all silencer transfers more recent than October 22, 2015.
Essentially, these provisions would deregulate silencers to the status of general firearms accessories, apply this deregulation across the board to all states, and release all silencers currently in tax stamp limbo to their respective purchasers. This differs from the Hearing Protection Act (HPA), which would down-regulate silencers to the same level as a standard longarm.
Whether the SHUSH Act will compete against or complement the HPA remains to be seen. It is possible that the more aggressive SHUSH Act could drive more moderate members of Congress towards the HPA – lest the SHUSH Act be forced through, anyway. However, it is also possible that the SHUSH Act could fragment the faction seeking to deregulate silencers by drawing away those members who are more strongly pro-deregulation.