Rep. Stewart Introduces Bill Supporting U.S. Small Businesses, Promoting Global Market Competition

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced the Suppressor Export Act, H.R. 5135, giving U.S. suppressor manufacturers access to a global market, and giving consumers around the world access to high-quality American products.

Suppressors, also known as silencers, are used by hunters and gun owners for hearing protection. American manufacturers make the highest quality product, but an internal policy at the U.S. State Department prohibits them from competing commercially with foreign manufacturers in countries where it is legal to own and operate suppressors.

“The United States should be cautious when exporting weapons and accessories, but there is no reason for a blanket ban on the export of suppressors, which are used for hearing protection,” Stewart said. “There is a global demand for quality American-made suppressors, and American businesses should be able compete in certain markets around the world.”

The Suppressor Export Act would require the U.S. State Department to allow for the commercial export of suppressors made in the United States to foreign markets where suppressors are legal to own and operate.

“This is a common-sense bill that will level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers, allowing them to compete in the global market,” Stewart said.

Specifically, this bill would allow the American export of suppressors if:

  • The suppressors were lawfully manufactured in the U.S.
  • The country receiving the export allows for the legal operation and ownership of suppressors
  • This bill would not allow American companies to export suppressors to dangerous countries, as outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations, part 126, of title 22. 

The National Rifle Association and the American Suppressor Association have both endorsed the Suppressor Export Act.

A PDF copy of the bill can be found here.

Original Co-sponsors of the bill include:

Reps. Ralph Abraham (R- La.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), John Carter (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chris Collins (R- N.Y.), Paul Cook (R- Calif.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (R- Kan.), Steve King (R- Iowa), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.)