Bill legalizing firearm silencers: ‘TN Hearing Protection Act of 2017’

Start of an AP story:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A state lawmaker is seeking an end to Tennessee’s firearm silencer ban in the name of “hearing protection.”

Republican Rep. Tilman Goins of Morristown has filed legislation (HB11) that would remove silencers from the list of weapons banned for having “no common lawful purpose.” Others include machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, brass knuckles and explosive weapons.

The possession, manufacture or sale of a silencer is considered a felony under current state law.

Goins has dubbed his bill the “Tennessee Hearing Protection Act” of 2017.

Note: Silencers may be legally possessed under federal law – provided the owner registers the device, which requires a background check and pays a $200 fee.

UPDATE: The bill passed. Post HERE.

29 Responses to Bill legalizing firearm silencers: ‘TN Hearing Protection Act of 2017’

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    Jerrie Guthrey says:

    If silencers are made lawful without registration and background checks, the number of violent crimes against citizens will increase due to the lack of auditory presence when a shooting, whether lethal or not, is occurring or has occurred. Hearing shots from a gun alerts innocent citizens of the need to call police, unless the shooting is on property for the purpose of hunting. Why on earth would anyone with good sense want to remove the only two (I REPEAT ONLY 2) stipulations to own a silencer. CRAZY BILL!!! I encourage our state leaders to deny this ridiculous bill!!!

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      Richard Reagan says:

      How can you say this? You are terribly misinformed. A suppressed firearm is around 118 decibels. So is a thunder clap, a live rock band, and a jet engine. Shooting a suppressed firearm only makes sense by reducing the risk of hearing damage to both the shooters and any who may be near the shooter. Like so many things you see on TV the portrayal of suppressor’s in movies is false.

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        Steve Brown says:

        Richard, your absolutely RIGHT!!! Hollywood has given the public a fake sound that a silencer can’t do!!!! The little BURP sound is so misleading!!!!! The only firearm that is really quiet that I’ve ever heard was a 22lr with sub sonic ammo. 710fps. The operation of the ejecter was about as loud as actual fired round.

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      Burdette says:

      And what alerts police and others that a lethal stabbing has occurred? Crime is going to happen no matter what. Furthermore, silencers in real life do not “silence” a firearm as they do on TV.

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      Dave Walter says:

      A “silencer” is not what they show in the movies and can not delete the sonic crack from the bullet breaking the sound barrier. Beyond that name one time gun laws prevented a crime.

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      Nathan says:

      You are very well misinformed guy. First there is no such thing as a “silencer.” The devices are known as sound suppressors since they only reduce the decibel level by roughly 20db. Secondly the douche who wrote the article doesn’t know much either as suppressors are not illegal in the state as long as federal rules are followed. You forget that criminals are the ones who break the law not your everyday joe. Do some real research and inform yourself before you start spouting garbage.

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        Quaker Chevelle says:

        Actually, the patent was originally filed as a silencer. We call them supressors but if want to get super technical and correct go look at the patent. It’s listed as a silencer

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      Keith Hays says:

      While I am in favor of common sense gun legislation. The silencer laws at both Federal and State level do not make sense. Most of Europe including Britain can just walk in and buy a suppressor without all of this craziness.
      The is one of the few situations where the left has it wrong. Should they include machine guns, hell no. Should we keep people who are mentally unstable from owning firearms hell yes. Should we require training of everyone who owns a firearm, hell yes. Suppressors have not in anyway increased crime in the places where it is perfectly legal to walk in an buy them.

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      patriot says:


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      Jason says:

      This bill does not remove background check for buying a “suppressor “. All it does is make it exactly as buying any firearm in the state of TN. The process right now is you have to go to a class 3 firearm dealer . Purchase the suppressor , fill out forms then send them in to the BATF along with a tax of 200.00 above and beyond the 800-2000.00 you just paid for the “suppressor”. for them to set it in a pile of other applications and make you wait 9 1/2 mo for them to send your approval back. I know because I went thru the process. But guess what I can take my suppressor anywhere and without a gun attatched to it , it’s as good as a small pole . The only thing this bill does is stop us from having to pay a 200.00 tax and 9 months of waiting from the ATF. When you purchase a suppressor it will then be run thru the Brady checks just like the ATF does . Only difference is once my background comes back clean I can walk out with it . This is not a crazy bill at all . What’s crazy is you wrote this misinformed ignorant comment without even knowing anything about the bill. That’s a gun grabber socialist liberal move . If I were you I would start supporting all of the constitutional rights not just pick and choose which ones you like or not to fit your day . Oh and also we live in TN , how are you going to distinguish the farmer shooting at a coyote to protect his cattle, from a thug shooting someone. Difference there . That farmer bought his legally to begin with (which is who this bill will help). That thug stole the gun or it’s passed around from one idiot to the next with various crimes on it . Btw this passed senate 27-1 and this is a republican gun toting bible living patriot state . Move to the communism wealth of virgins where your views are more accepted .

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      Bret Hankes says:

      You clearly have never used a suppressor!
      I currently own and use six of them and they don’t make the weapon silent, all they do is reduce the noise level to where I don’t need hearing protection.
      Calling them mufflers would be a better definition, just like the muffler on your car.
      In fact, in Germany you can simply buy them over the counter at your local hardware store and they do indeed call them mufflers.
      Some countries view them as common courtesy items and encourage people to use them so neighbors aren’t disturbed as much.
      You might want to educate your self before you start spouting off about something that you obviously know nothing about.

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      Brett McNeely says:

      Based on your first sentence you know nothing. It’s a suppressor not a silencer sir. Please get with it.

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      Caleb Wilson says:

      You can still hear the shot from a suppressed firearm. This bill is nothing new. People can already legally own suppressors in TN. This just means you wouldn’t have to register is with the ATF.

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      Lincoln Pope says:

      Jerrie, you watch WAY to many movies. Try this……instead of regurgitating what the left wing media spews out, how about having an original thought.

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      Steven says:

      You are drastically misinformed. As an owner of a legally registered suppressor, I can tell you that they are not as quiet as one would think. There are a great deal of legal uses for these devices. Especially in the sport shooting and hunting communities. Why don’t we let the laws we already have govern us? It will most likely always be against the law to shoot an individual for unjustified purposes. Don’t punish law abiding citizens for the actions of criminals.

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      Wayne says:

      You are completely and utterly wrong!

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      Bruno mars says:

      You are ignorant. suppressors/silencers still produce a sound genius. Stop watching so many movies and get some first hand knowledge before you make a factless statement.

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      Brian says:


      FYI, criminals will shoot someone with or without a suppressor, that’s why they are criminals. They do not think rationally, therefore, they are not concerned if someone hears a shot or not. On a good note, suppressors installed on weapons make them larger, and extremely difficult to conceal. Thus, making suppresses weapons bulky and difficult to use recklessly. Not to mention, they actually block sights on small pistols, which makes aiming difficult : )

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    Richard Reagan says:

    Only those who are uniformed, misinformed, or ignorant would think that suppressors are a bad thing. The sound of a firearm can be much louder than 140 decibels. A well suppressed firearm is around 118 decibels. Below the threshold for hearing damage but still very loud. Some other sounds that are around 118 decibels include a thunder clap which is about 120 decibels asking with a live rock band, and a jet engine. If anyone thinks that this will make a short invisible they are misinformed to a degree that is embarrassing.

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    Richard Reagan says:

    Here are some sources to compare noise levels.

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    Richard Reagan says:

    First, consider the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. You probably know what that sounds like when fired. Not too bad, right? It measures in the high-90s. Some more advanced .177 or .22 caliber air rifles will produce voulumes up to about 115dB. Now, look at the chart above again. 115dB seems pretty loud when you compare it to a rock concert which can measure 110dB or higher. But, one important thing to consider is that a gun produces a very quick and short impulse sound. The sound level is not prolonged like a 2-hour rock concert. Another familiar sound that might help put this in perspective is the sound of a balloon popping close to your ears. It can measure as high as 157dB. But it’s only for a fraction of a second, so while it doesn’t “feel” all that bad, it does produce a high SPL.

    The .22LR rifle.
    Firing a .22LR rifle (unsuppressed) is considered by some to be the minimum sound level that can be tolerated without using hearing protection. But, from a bolt-action .22LR rifle, the sound can be as high as 140dB with standard velocity ammunition. That’s well above the threshold where irreversible hearing damage begins. Impulse noise beyond 120dB can cause hearing damage, but the limit of acceptable impulse sound according to OSHA is 140dB, so there’s a big margin there. To play it safe, make sure you use some sort of hearing protection if the gun you’re firing will produce sounds exceeding the 120dB level. And by hearing protection, we mean firearm suppressors, of course. What happens to the sound level when you attach a suppressor to that .22LR bolt-action rifle? With a good suppressor, the sound level will drop to around 112db, in some cases, even when shooting standard velocity ammunition. That’s an SPL almost 1,000 times less powerful than shooting unsuppressed. And it’s quieter than some pellet guns.


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    Allen Roberts says:

    Oh no, not those oh so dangerous suppressors! There goes the neighborhood. /sarc

    Now compare the murder map with the latest national political vote map. Funny thing, most of the murders in America occur in pockets of liberal minded communities!


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    Marc Hyatt says:

    So, where are we at with this bill? Does it do away with the tax stamp required? Thanks in advance for the info…

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    Dave says:

    I’m reading a lot of misinformation. I own silencers/suppressors whatever the heck you wanna call it. On a 9mm with subsonic ammo. (Slower than the speed of sound) it’s about as loud as someone hammering a nail into wood. Loud enough to be heard. Now. My .22cal with silencer/sound suppressor attached. All you hear is the action of the gun. Yes. Hollywood quiet. Without that fake thwerrp sound Hollywood made up for silencers. A rifle with a suppressor attached is much louder because most likely that rifle ammo is gonna be supersonic and have that loud crack that would sound about as loud as a 22lr I suppressed.

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    John says:

    The bottom line is that they are not difficult to make. I won’t help by telling them what to google but if a criminal really wants one, they would figure it out and simply bypass the Form 1. My 2c.

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