Congress Member Opposes Bill That Would Make it Easier to Get Gun Silencer

A U.S. Congress member and some Connecticut police chiefs are concerned about a bill moving through Congress that they say would make it too easy for gun owners to purchase silencers.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro was in Hamden today and expressed her opposition to H.R. 367, a bill called the “Hearing Protection Act of 2017,” which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to eliminate the $200 transfer tax on firearm silencers and treat any person who acquires or possesses a firearm silencer as meeting any registration or licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act with respect to such silencer. Any person who pays a transfer tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015, could also receive a refund of such tax. 

“To focus on hearing loss really is a cowardly way to sneak this issue through the Congress and an insult to the families across this country who know firsthand the horrors of gun violence,” DeLauro said.

Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said there is currently a path to obtaining a silencer or a gun suppression attachment.

“Let it stay,” he said.

Opponents of the bill gathered at Hamden town hall and said the proposed legislation would make it too easy for people to purchase firearm silencers, which would make communities across more dangerous and make police work much more difficult.

Supporters of the bill say silencers help people who shoot recreationally and for sport.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League and gun rights advocates who support the bill say silencers exist for a purpose and the bill is about protecting that.

“I believe there has been a misconception by the public for a very long time when it comes to noise suppressors. I think a lot of people conjure up an image of a hit-man from a violent movie or television show," CCDL president Scott Wilson said in a statement to NBC Connecticut. "The reality about these devices is that they dampen the loud noise to a safer decibel level. They especially benefit shooters that train and shoot in competitive events."

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