A new “White Paper” released Monday by the Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO), a project of the Second Amendment Foundation, says making firearm sound suppressors more available to the public by eliminating government paperwork could be a boon to preventing hearing loss among shooters.
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership strongly supports making firearm suppressors readily available to the public as a critical health intervention to prevent Americans’ hearing loss,” said DRGO Director, Dr. Arthur Przebinda, in a news release. “Reducing barriers to firearms suppressor ownership and decreasing the likelihood of gunshot blast noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus in tens of millions of U.S. firearms owners will have no material impact on criminal firearms use.”
Founded more than 20 years ago, DRGO came under the SAF wing about four years ago.
According to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, information in the DRGO White Paper “underscores the importance of research in the decision-making process, as opposed to relying merely on emotional arguments.” The White Paper, titled “Position Paper in Favor of Firearm Suppressors to Prevent Hearing Loss,” may be read here.
The proposed Hearing Protection Act would remove barriers to the ownership of suppressors, which are sound reduction devices rarely used in crime. But because they might make it easier for shooters to cut down on gun range and hunting noise, the anti-gun crowd is against them.
“It’s disappointing that, after years of trying to make guns a public health issue, the gun control crowd reflexively opposes an effort to protect the hearing of millions of firearms owners,” Gottlieb observed. “Perhaps with the release of the DRGO report, an important new perspective has been added to the debate.”
According to DRGO’s report, “Particularly harmful for firearms enthusiasts is the explosive blast (or impulse) generated when firing a handgun or rifle. This explosive blast generates 1,000 times more pressure than the actual noise of a gunshot. Such blasts can result in significant, permanent hearing loss with a single exposure of 140 decibels or more, according to OSHA in the above referenced report. 3 This is the same “acoustic blast trauma” suffered by survivors of IEDs on the battlefield. Muzzle blast sound levels for most firearms (handguns, rifles and shotguns) range from 140 to over 170 decibels, more than sufficient to cause instant, permanent hearing damage.”
Suppressors have become increasingly popular in recent years as indoor shooting ranges have sprung up. Being able to reduce the decibel level of muzzle blast on an inside range could have a positive benefit for shooters of all ages.