New Tennessee law allows firearm suppressors


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Tennessee Hearing Protection Act of 2017 is going into effect on July 1. It allows people to use suppressors, also known as silencers, on guns.

David Smith owns Dave’s Shooting Supply LLC in Chattanooga. He is looking forward to a new law that will allow firearm silencers in Tennessee. He says it will benefit his customers.

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“It is made for example the people who are sportsman and stuff to go out and hunt and they can shoot and say maybe, three four places down from a residential area, they’ve got a place that they like to hunt in the field or something, they can shoot firearms and it won’t bother anybody,” Smith said

He says it will help with hearing, by protecting hunter’s ears.

“You won’t have to wear headphones or earplugs and stuff like that with these firearms are discharged,” Smith said.

Lindsay Nichols, the policy director with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, says this new law is part of national agenda regarding deregulating silencers and removing federal registration requirements.

“That is part of it and it is setting the stage for the federal bill to move,” Nichols said.

Tennessee is one of many states that has this kind of law that says you have to comply with the federal requirements, but some lobbyists are hoping that will change.

“If they do succeed in congress at removing, then silencers will be easily accessible and frankly will be subject to the same kind of trafficking that guns are. It will be just as easy for a criminal to get a silencer as they can right now get a gun,” Nichols said.

Smith thinks hunters will be the only ones taking advantage of the new law.

“I mean people would carry permits and take time to learn gun safety, hunter safety and stuff like that. They are not going out to hurt anybody,” Smith said.

Gun store owners who want to sell oppressors must obtain a special permit.