On March 31, 2016, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed the Hearing Protection Act, House File 2279, into law. The Hearing Protection Act legalizes the possession of sound suppressors and the use of sound suppressors for hunting in Iowa. This change bring Iowa into line with the 41 other states that have legalized sound suppressors.
Sound suppressors (sometimes called “silencers”) are devices that make the sound of a gunshot quieter. Normally, the sound of a gun being fired is loud enough that the person using that gun (such as at the target range or when hunting) must wear ear protection to avoid suffering serious hearing damage. Sound suppressors don’t make a gun silent (or sound like they do in the movies), but can make it safe to fire a gun without having to wear earplugs or earmuffs. That reduction in sound can make hunting or target practice more enjoyable for beginners and seasoned gun enthusiasts alike.
For those Iowa residents interested in possessing sound suppressors, the process is not as easy as going to your local gun store to buy one. Instead, there is still a process through the Federal government that requires an application, a fee, and paperwork that can take months to complete. Anyone who is considering purchasing a sound suppressor may also wish to consider setting up a gun trust.
More information on the legalization of sound suppressors in Iowa can be seen on the Iowa Firearms Coalition website. The Iowa Firearms Coalition (previously called Iowa Carry) was instrumental in getting the Hearing Protection Act and many other favorable firearms laws passed in Iowa over the last decade.
Puryear Law has created many NFA gun trusts for clients. Those interested in having our firm create an NFA gun trust for them can see the NFA Gun Trust page on our website.