Tennessee gun owners had a small victory earlier this month as the TN House passed a bill to allow owners to legally use a silencer on their gun. The bill, which was nicknamed the “Tennessee Hearing Protection Act” was passed with a 74-18 vote in the House, and a 28-1 vote in the Senate.
Although somewhat controversial, the bill passed with flying colors in the Republican heavy state. It is meant to help protect the hearing of sportsmen, and is not meant for ill intent.
This bill will removed silencers from the list that bans weapons for not have a “common lawful purpose.”
This is a very clean approach to reforming the law. It simply eliminates Tennessee law as it relates to gun mufflers, (silencers, suppressors). Silencers were legal in the United States from the time of their invention in 1902 until they were placed with machine guns and short barreled rifles and shotguns in the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.
Currently, Tennessee has a portion of 39-17-1302 that allows people who have a silencer that is registered with the federal government under the NFA, to have an affirmative defense for their possession.
The change in the law means that federal registration would no longer be required as part of state law. This potentially decouples the federal requirements from state law enforcement.
As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Hearing Protection Act,” which deletes the prohibition on possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of a firearm silencer. – Amends TCA Section 39-17-1301 and Section 39-17-1302.