It’s all about the cans. We love us some cans with a fierce and terrible love. And the ASA caters to that love. Here’s how and why. Mad Duo
The ASA and Why You Should GAF
David Reeder, with photos by Matt Stagliano
If you’ve been following us on social media, you’re aware we spent several hours today on the Griffin Gun Club range with the ASA — but many of our readers don’t know what the ASA is.
Simply put, the American Suppressor Association is an organization that has been working its ass off on behalf of anyone who likes to shoot suppressed. They’ve been backing legislation intended to not legalize silencers in places they’re not, but to remove them from NFA coverage completely, and perhaps more importantly to help normalize them.
There are as many misconceptions about silencers, their use and legality as there are about machine guns, work-related tax deductions, and the gender of strippers in Khlong Toei.
Which is to say, a lot.
The ASA is responsible for H.R. 367, for instance. The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (its first incarnation originally proposed by Arizona’s Rep. Matt Salmon, now retired) is, along with its companion Senate bill S.59 (Sen. Crapo, ID), the work of the ASA. So too are are ongoing efforts to legalize the export of suppressors to friendly, stable, allied nations. The export of silencers is illegal under ITAR restrictions, as many people know, but the ASA’s Owen Miller tells far fewer are aware this restriction was the result of a ruling by fiat.
The ruling making it illegal to sell suppressors abroad was not part of a law passed, but rather just an internal memo on the part of the DDTC, enabled with the stroke of a pen. The DDTC (Director at Defense Trade Controls) has control over ITAR. In many ways a part of its purview is the ability to decide what falls under its purview.
How’s that for a bureaucratic self-licking ice cream cone?
It took a Freedom of Information Act request by ASA legal counsel and over three years of work to get that clarified, by the way. Acquisition of that background has fueled their efforts to get the Suppressor Export Act, sponsored by Utah’s Representative Stewart, through Congress.
It’s a painfully slow process, particularly in the political clime of the last two POTUS terms.
The ASA Media Event (today was the fourth annual) is held to showcase the suppressor companies that support the ASA in their work. Why all suppressor companies aren’t involved in this we don’t know. You’d think every damn one of them would want to help, but evidently that’s not the case. For every one that isn’t involved with the ASA, however, there are many who are, including several that are new in 2017. Among the latter are SureFire, Rugged, and Black Rain Ordnance. GEMTECH has been with them from the beginning. Others on the range at the event were Daniel Defense, Yankee Hill Machine, Brownell’s, Thunder Beast, Vista, Desert Tech, Hudson Manufacturing, and no doubt others we missed.
The legislation now has nearly 140 sponsors in the House and 14 in the Senate. Most recently Sen. Ted Cruz signed the bill.
There are many (chiefly detractors and members of the gun opposition) who say the actual name of the “Hearing Protection Act” is disingenuous and contrived. Those people, and those they provide cues to, obviously have very little understanding of the firearm-suppressor industry, or even how cans are viewed in other countries. In Europe, for instance, even in liberal countries with significant gun restriction, it is often considered gauche and impolite to shoot without a suppressor.
There’s also the continued stigma of the suppressor as perpetuated in the media — after all, only hitmen and assassins need a silencer, right?
That’s why the ASA strives not just to act legally on behalf of silencer ownership, but to normalize it. And you can help.
Jump on the mailing list for the HPA here.
Help educate people who don’t know, and remember: win the argument, not the shouting match.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.