The Hearing Protection Act is off the Congress floor
Speaker Paul Ryan announced this afternoon the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) has been “shelved indefinitely,” The Chicago Tribune reports, while H.R. 3668 will continue onto debating. He added there’s no plan for the house to act on the HPA, saying, “I don’t know when it will be scheduled.”
“We are all reeling from this horror in Las Vegas,” The Tribune reports Ryan said at the news conference. “This is just awful.”
Prior to Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, the House was expected to debate the entire bill, which, in part, would loosen laws on suppressors. As of last month, the bill was backed by a House panel and expectations were that the bill would move forward this week, The Tribune reports.
Instead, the newspaper reports Ryan and other GOP leaders on Tuesday urged prayers to unify the country and suggested donating blood as a response to the shooting, while pulling the HPA from the bill. Ryan, according to The Tribune, added the act that killed 59 people and wounded hundreds will not “define us as a country. It’s not who we are.”
What does this delay mean?
Right now, no one knows. But it’s definitely not a good sign for the HPA.
As The Tribune reports, this is the second time the Hearing Protection Act has been part of a delay. The first came in June when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were shot at a congressional baseball practice in Washington D.C. Overall, these delays create a stronger argument for those that oppose the bill.
“When two mass shootings force you to delay a bill that would make those mass shootings harder to detect and stop, maybe that’s a sign you ought to let go of the bill go, once and for all,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told The Tribune.
As for where the Hearing Protection Act goes in the future, it will be a waiting game. For the remainder of much larger SHARE Act (H.R. 3668) will continue moving forward through Congress, The Tribune reports. One large measure the bill would achieve is allowing concealed-carry permit holders to take their firearms to other states, the newspaper reports.
More information on the Hearing Protection Act
The Hearing Protection Act, to phrase it as simply as possible, aims to remove suppressors from the NFA list, making them easier to purchase and thus protecting your hearing.
The story started back on Jan. 9, 2017, when Duncan and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) reintroduced the Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) quickly reintroduced the bill to the Senate. Formally known as H.R. 367 in Congress and S. 59 in the Senate, its goal is to remove suppressors from the scope of the NFA and replace the outdated federal transfer process with an instantaneous National Instant Criminal Background Check (NCIS). The bill also includes a tax credit provision for the $200 transfer tax on any suppressor after Oct. 22, 2015.
This wasn’t the first attempt to remove suppressors from the NFA list. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) originally introduced the idea back in 2015 — the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 — but the bill died out following his retirement.