Even though the people who make and use suppressors, more commonly called silencers, have been a quiet crowd in public policy making for a number of years, most of our readers, I suspect, know that silencers are legal, at least in 39 states, with federal registration and payment of the $200 NFA transfer tax.
Recently, the silencer clan has been making “noise,” telling the people who don’t know that suppressors are legal and that they are worthwhile firearms accessories with many more benefits than just damping down the sound of gun shots.
In part, this has been because an American Silencer Association (ASA) has been formed and has hit the ground running in public education and legislation.
The companies responsible for the incorporation of the ASA are Silencer Co./SWR, Advanced Armament Corp, and Gemtech. Other firms have also assisted. While they are fierce competitors in the marketplace, all three companies recognize the necessity of creating a single voice to educate the public and to enhance their ability to advocate for silencer rights.
In the past, silencers have often carried a stigma in the United States, probably the most gun friendly country in the world, while they are often required in ranges in other countries that are more hostile to gun ownership.
Silencers have many applications beyond military and police use. Besides cutting down the sound of gunfire to protect the ears of shooters and their neighbors, silencers significantly reduce muzzle flip and muzzle flash. They are used in many competitive shooting events and they are a boon to homeowners and farmers trying to eradicate vermin and other pests without alarming neighbors. Predator hunters who don’t wish to frighten their quarry also are good prospect for silencers.
Silencer Co. was formed in 2008 by Joshua Waldron and Jonathon Shults.
Waldron and Shults learned that the military released a solicitation stating it wanted all firearms deployed to be silenced.
The American Silencer Association which was incorporated in 2008 is headed by Bruce Waldron, president of Silencer Co., a manufacturer located in Utah. The ASA includes most of the major manufacturers of silencers for civilian, military and law enforcement use as well as over 1,000 individual gun owners who legally own and use silencers for both rifles and pistols. For more membership information you can visit their website: AmericanSilencerAssociation.com
In addition to working with other pro-gun organizations like the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, the ASA has their own lobbyist and has a significant and active legislative agenda. They have been actively working in about a half dozen state legislatures during the current sessions to expand the legal use of suppressors for hunting. And the prospects look good in several states, including Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
There is also room for action at the federal level.
“Ultimately,” Waldron told TGM, “we would like to see silencers reclassified by Congress and the ATF to the “any other weapon” category, which would reduce the cost of registration to about $20.” “Meanwhile, however, we have to work at the state level to change the current restrictions on silencer use for hunting.” The principal opposition, Waldron noted, appears to be coming from state fish and wildlife agencies that are concerned about poaching.
Meanwhile, the education campaign is moving into high gear with a fundraising shoot called the Silencers Are Legal Shoot.
The ASA is hosting the Silencers are Legal Shoot this April 28 at the Elm Fork Shooting Range in Dallas, TX. Shooters attending will have an opportunity to test fire all of the latest silencer and firearm products on the market. In addition, there will be a raffle and vendor stalls selling state of the art firearm accessories.
The admission price for the Silencers Are Legal Shoot is $12 when bought online in advance, or $15 at the event.
For more details about the shoot, and to buy advance tickets, visit: Silencersarelegal.com