Sen. Marshall Legislation Provides Better Access to Hearing Protection Equipment for Kansas Sportsmen

(Washington, D.C., June 16, 2021) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. joined a group of his colleagues in reintroducing the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). The HPA, S. 2050, would reclassify suppressors to regulate them like a regular firearm. The measure would benefit recreational gun users and provide them better access to hearing protection equipment. 

“Responsible gun owners shouldn’t have to fight through layers of regulations to exercise their second amendment rights. Hearing protection accessories improve safety for shooting sports by protecting against hearing loss and allowing easier communication on the range. These accessories should be purchased through a simple background check just like firearms. Unfortunately, the outdated and unconstitutional National Firearms Act of 1934 allows D.C. bureaucrats to overregulate and infringe on the gun rights of Americans,” said Senator Marshall. “This piece of legislation will ensure folks in Kansas and across the country have access to the hearing protection they need while exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

The Hearing Protection Act was led by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina).


On average, suppressors diminish the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels, roughly the same sound reduction provided by earplugs or earmuffs.  By further comparison, the most effective suppressors on the market can only reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to around 110-120 decibels. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, that is as loud as a jackhammer (110 dB) or an ambulance siren (120 dB). Currently regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA), suppressors are subject to additional regulatory burdens. 

The HPA would:

  • Reclassify suppressors to regulate them like traditional firearms;
  • Remove suppressors from regulation under the NFA;
  • Replace the overly-burdensome federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check, making the purchasing and transfer process for suppressors equal to the process for a rifle or shotgun; and
  • Tax suppressors under the Pittman-Robertson Act instead of the NFA, putting more funding into state wildlife conservation agencies.  

The HPA would not change any laws in states that already prevent suppressors, nor does it get rid of the requirement for a background check. 

The Hearing Protection Act is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the American Suppressor Association, Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association.