Firearm Suppressors and Public Safety Audiologists must advocate for prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. However, “Could the Hearing Protection Act Boost Use of Suppressors?” (March 2018) neglected to address complexities of reducing regulations and making suppressors more immediately available. Quoting the American Suppressor Association (ASA) seems to imply ASHA alignment with the organization, and this ... Inbox
Free
Inbox  |   May 01, 2018
Firearm Suppressors and Public Safety
Author Notes
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Inbox
Inbox   |   May 01, 2018
Firearm Suppressors and Public Safety
The ASHA Leader, May 2018, Vol. 23, 4-5. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.23052018.4
The ASHA Leader, May 2018, Vol. 23, 4-5. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.23052018.4
Audiologists must advocate for prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. However, “Could the Hearing Protection Act Boost Use of Suppressors?” (March 2018) neglected to address complexities of reducing regulations and making suppressors more immediately available. Quoting the American Suppressor Association (ASA) seems to imply ASHA alignment with the organization, and this troubles me.
According to its website, ASA’s mission is to “unite and advocate for the common interests of suppressor manufacturers, distributors and dealers.” Their aim is sales, not hearing loss prevention or public safety. Suppressors can, indeed, provide partial noise abatement of firearm noise. However, we must be aware of public safety concerns if we decrease background checks.
As the article states, a gun suppressor can reduce noise, but not to safe levels. However, properly fit hearing protection devices (HPDs) can provide attenuation to safe levels. We should direct our efforts to educating the public about HPDs for optimal hearing conservation.
Currently, individuals undergo an FBI background check and pay $200 to obtain a suppressor. Making suppressors easier to obtain may make law enforcement’s job tougher, including potential impacts on gunshot tracking technology. The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, including the Police Foundation and Major Cities Chiefs Association, warns that widespread use of suppressors, “combined with the sheer number of firearms freely available in America, is a step in the wrong direction and will result in tragedy, including violence directed at police officers that will be difficult or impossible to investigate effectively.”
Beth Parrott, Urbana, Illinois

Thank you for shedding further light on the complexities of using gun suppressors and proposed changes to regulating them. We agree it’s important to educate the public about the benefits of using properly fitted hearing protection devices to attenuate gun noise to safe levels.

0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2018
Volume 23, Issue 5