WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety released the following statement from President John Feinblatt today, as House Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee completed markup on The SHARE Act, which includes the so-called “Hearing Protection Act” that would profit gun manufacturers by gutting silencer safety laws and making it easy for anyone to buy a silencer without a background check.
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Silencers distort the sound of a gun, and in the wrong hands, they put people’s safety at risk. NRA leadership and their friends in Congress have gone behind closed doors to try to prop up lagging gun sales by making it easy for anyone to buy a silencer without a background check. This sham bill is a giveaway to the gun lobby, which cannot be allowed to use Congress to put profits ahead of public safety.”
In an effort to avoid unwanted scrutiny, sponsors of the NRA-backed silencers legislation chose early on to fold it into the much larger Sportsmen’s Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act or SHARE Act. After the June 14 shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, the House of Representatives cancelled all business for the day, including that morning’s hearing on the SHARE Act, which included the proposal to make it easier to buy silencers.
The proposal would gut long-standing safety laws designed to keep silencers out of the wrong hands. Specifically, it would remove silencers from the National Firearms Act, making it easy for convicted felons, domestic abusers and people with dangerous mental illnesses to buy silencers without passing a background check – simply by finding an unlicensed seller.
This week, Salon described this legislation as “a sneaky and dangerous new revenue stream,” and noted that “slipping this regulatory rollback into a bill that, on its surface, addresses the use of federal lands for hunting and fishing suggests that Republicans know that the public has no interest in deregulating silencers, and are trying to sneak this bill through Congress while no one notices.” The Washington Post reported that the SHARE Act “has not been embraced by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.”