At a time of many legal battles involving the firearms industry, it’s refreshing to see some wins. One such win happened on Monday, February 6th in the state of New Mexico, thanks to the American Suppressor Association.
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For those that might not be aware, the American Suppressor Association acts like a unified voice for the suppressor community and regularly attends hearings on the state and federal level to fight for pro-suppressor reform and ownership. Since its inception in 2011, the ASA has helped legalize suppressor ownership in three states, helped legalized hunting with suppressors in 19 states, and defeated suppressor bans in two states.
On the Monday in question, ASA Executive Director Knox Williams testified before the New Mexico Senate Heath and Public Affairs Committee to oppose the proposed Senate Bill 171. The bill had three key points:
- define and prohibit the sale of “assault pistols” with a clause regarding not having threaded barrels,
- ban the manufacture or sale, etc. of a list of items including SBRs and suppressors to name a few items,
- and the ban of any Teflon-coated ammunition that would separate upon impact.
These items are just a few highlights of the said bill.
Immediately after Williams’ thorough testimony, Sen. Soules offered an amendment to delete the provision banning suppressors, which was adopted by a bipartisan 6-1 margin removing the suppressor ban from SB 171.
“In a dozen years of lobbying for suppressors, I’ve never seen anything like this happen,” said Knox Williams. “The facts and the science are on our side, and Owen Miller, ASA’s Vice-President, and I came prepared with our knowledge to fight tooth and nail for suppressors. In a rare occurrence in politics, logic and common sense prevailed. We are ecstatic that we were able to protect suppressors from being banned, and applaud Senator Soules for removing that provision. Nonetheless, even as amended SB 171 is a draconian and unconstitutional bill that needs to be stopped.”
The bill would essentially ban most all hunting ammunition and any threaded barrel even if it isn’t on an “assault pistol”—whatever that is supposed to be—among many other items in this far-reaching bill.
Williams and ASA Vice President Owen Miller were in New Mexico, with the NRA-ILA meeting with committee members and other legislators to explain the multiple issues with the bill. Since the bill was amended and passed, it will now go to the New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.
This hasn’t been the only victory for the ASA in the last few weeks. Williams also testified on a proposed ban on the sale of suppressors in the state of Virginia on January 26th. His testimony, along with others, helped the bill to be tabled indefinitely by the committee and hopefully shouldn’t see the light of day again.
Additionally, with NRA legal team, the ASA helped to restore some of the affected YouTube channels that had been taken down around the time of SHOT Show 2023. This was seen as a huge victory for many in the industry.