This bill — known as the Hearing Protection Act — would ease restrictions on the ownership of firearm suppressors (aka silencers) by treating any person who acquires or possesses a silencer as meeting any federal registration or licensing requirements for that silencer. Buyers of silencers would have to pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS). It would also eliminate the $200 transfer tax on silencers and allow any person who paid a transfer tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015 to receive a refund. Additionally, the bill would preempt state or local laws that tax the transfer of silencers.
Under current law, individuals are required to go through a registration process with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) before acquiring a silencer which can take about nine months.