American Suppressor Association

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Trump Administration Legalizes Commercial Exportation of Suppressors

Posted by American Suppressor Association on 7/11/20 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Suppressor Association (ASA) is thrilled to announce that the Trump Administration has officially legalized the commercial exportation of firearm suppressors, effective immediately. The State Department’s rescission of the misguided and ill-informed April 18, 2002 internal memorandum that unilaterally prohibited the commercial exportation of suppressors is the culmination of six years of work by the American Suppressor Association. The ability to compete in existing foreign markets will generate millions of dollars in annual revenue for small businesses across the country, increasing US exports and creating hundreds of American jobs in the process.


On Friday, July 10th, the State Department rescinded their previous policy in the following statement:


         DDTC Web Notice Regarding an Update to its Suppressor Policy


Effective immediately, the Department of State has rescinded its April 18, 2002, firearms sound suppressor policy.  This policy provided for enhanced guidelines for the approval and issuance of export licenses for sound suppressors and restricted their export to only official end users such as government or military entities.  Henceforth, DDTC will handle suppressor exports in a manner consistent with other USML-controlled technologies.  This requires that applicants must identify a specific end user.  Applications for the permanent export of hardware must include purchase documentation, a DSP-83 non-transfer and end use certificate (as suppressors are considered Significant Military Equipment under the USML), an end-user statement, and an import permit (if required by the destination country).  Consistent with current licensing practices, all licenses will be reviewed and adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, and any pre-license checks or post shipment verifications will be conducted as deemed necessary and appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances of the transaction.  Standard staffing protocols within the Department and interagency will be applied as required.


“For six years, the American Suppressor Association has worked to legalize the commercial exportation of suppressors,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of ASA. “We submitted FOIA requests, helped draft and introduce the Suppressor Export Act of 2016, and educated members of the State Department and White House about the realities of suppressor technology. We applaud the Trump Administration for taking charge and allowing American businesses to compete in thriving markets abroad. This change in policy will create hundreds of jobs at a time when our country needs them most.”


The previous prohibition on the exportation of suppressors was based on the common misconception that suppressors, also known as silencers, are capable of eliminating the noise of a gunshot. Simply put, they cannot. On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 – 35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs.


According to the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), “although firearm suppressors do not completely eliminate the risk of [noise-induced hearing loss] from firearm noise, the risk can be significantly reduced…Therefore, NHCA supports the use of firearm noise suppressors as a form of an engineering noise control to reduce hazardous firearm noise exposures.”

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The American Suppressor Association Industry Forum

Posted by American Suppressor Association on 2/27/19 9:30 AM

Washington, DC, May 14-17, 2019

Building upon the success of last year’s inaugural event, the Second Annual ASA Industry Forum provides an opportunity for executives and compliance personnel from across the industry to come together to advance our common mission for pro-suppressor advocacy. The Forum will begin with an informal reception on Tuesday evening at a location TBD near Capitol Hill.

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Suppressors: Tapping the Untapped Potential

Posted by American Suppressor Association on 11/29/18 11:30 AM

In today’s firearms market, suppressors offer significantly more growth potential than any other product offering. According to information given to the American Suppressor Association (ASA), as of August 2018, around 1,554,000 suppressors were registered with ATF. Although the registry has amassed these suppressors over the past 84 years, over 80% have been added since 2011 – the very year that ASA was formed. In many ways, the growth curve of the suppressor market mimics that of black rifles following the sunset of the assault weapons ban in 2004, albeit on a smaller scale. However, unlike the current AR market, the suppressor segment still exhibits incredible potential for growth. The demand is most certainly there; industry just needs to tap it.

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The Scientific Case for Suppressors

Posted by American Suppressor Association on 10/27/18 9:33 AM

It is sometimes said, if the firearm were invented today, it would be required by law to have a muffler. Today we understand the risk of noise-induced hearing loss much better than ever before. “Hearing loss affects more than 28 million Americans, including more than half of those over age 75. Hearing problems—including tinnitus, which is a ringing, buzzing, or another type of noise that originates in the head—are by far the most prevalent service-connected disability among American Veterans.”[1] In the shooting community, we’ve frequently heard that suppressed gunfire that is below 140dB is considered “hearing safe.” How was this threshold derived? First off, in actuality, we would be wise to avoid the term “hearing safe” and instead use “hearing safer.”

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