House approves bill allowing use of legally-registered firearm noise suppressors

The House of Representatives today voted 88-4 to approve a measure that would allow the use of firearm noise suppressors that are legally registered and possessed under federal law.

Rep. Matt Shea, a co-sponsor of House Bill 1016, says the measure corrects an oddity in state law that allows people to own registered noise suppressors, but not use them.

“Noise suppressors are very helpful for police training on ranges in urban areas. This will allow law enforcement to train at night without disturbing their surroundings. That’s important because the majority of police-involved shootings happen at night,” said Shea, R-Spokane Valley. “In residential areas where there are gun ranges, this would help to reduce the noise level dramatically. Noise suppressors also help to prevent hearing loss for hunters and sportsmen. This is a matter of public health and safety, and I’m glad this measure is moving forward.”

Shea noted the bill would have no impact on criminal access or use of firearm noise suppressors.

“Everyone looking to obtain a noise suppressor has to go through a thorough background check, obtain a law enforcement certification, and make a $200 transfer tax payment. This bill does not change the difficulty in obtaining a noise suppressor. It only makes it legal to use one if it is lawfully possessed,” said Shea.

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications