WASHINGTON — Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, is a co-sponsor of the Hearing Protection Act, a bill that, if signed into law, would reclassify suppressors so they are subject to national instantaneous criminal background checks, or NICS.
“Suppressors do not make a firearm silent, they reduce the sound of a firearm to protect the hearing of the shooter. Additionally, revolvers, which are the most commonly used firearm to commit crimes in the U.S., cannot be suppressed,” she said.
Fully automatic weapons cannot be suppressed either, as the suppressor would melt after being fired causing the firearm to explode or stop working.
“The bill is far more restrictive than laws in Europe which treat suppressors like an accessory rather than regulating it in the same way as a firearm, like this bill aims to do,” Tenney said.
Hearing loss beings at 80 decibels. An unsuppressed firearm is approximately 160 decibels, a suppressed hunting rifle is around 130 decibels. Many times while hunting, experts say, using standard hearing protection is not ideal as it’s important for participants in group hunts to communicate for safety purposes. Likewise, deer hunters in a densely wooded area like upstate New York, will often hear the deer before you seeing it, again making standard hearing protection less than ideal.
Tenney expressed sadness at the mass shooting that occurred Sunday evening in Las Vegas. The shooting was carried out by lone gunman Stephen Paddock and left an estimated 59 dead and 527 wounded. “We grieve for the lives lost in the horrific shooting in Las Vegas and continue to pray for all who were injured. We are forever grateful to our first responders who heroically and expediently responded,” she said.
Tenney said the shooting was not an example of the need for more restrictive gun laws.
“Tragically, the man who committed this mass murder was evil and no law or regulation would have stopped him from carrying out this heinous and evil act,” she said.
“I reject efforts to exploit the actions of one evil or deranged person to restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding gun owners.”