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July 10, 2020

NSSF Welcomes State Department Removing Obstacles to Suppressor Exports

NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the trade association for the firearm industry, lauded the decision of the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) to rescind the 2002 policy that blocked the export of firearm suppressors to overseas markets. NSSF has championed the effort to remove the policy which has only harmed U.S.-based suppressor manufacturers.

“This is a commonsense decision to allow U.S. manufacturers to compete in overseas markets where suppressors are not only legal, but are often required for recreational shooting and hunting,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This is another win for the firearm and suppressor manufacturers by the Trump Administration. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration finalized the U.S. Munitions List to Commerce Control List Transition, streamlining the export process for firearms. That was an export reform years in the making and only held up for domestic political reasons. U.S. manufacturers, domestic production and U.S. workers will all benefit from this practical decision.”

The DDTC noted it will handle suppressor exports in a manner consistent with other USML-controlled technologies. Consistent with current licensing practices, all licenses will be reviewed and adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, and any pre-license checks or post shipment verifications will be conducted as deemed necessary and appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances of the transaction. Standard staffing protocols within the Department and interagency will be applied as required.

Suppressors do not completely silence a firearm as often depicted in popular culture. The report of a firearm is reduced to below the 140-decibel threshold where instant and permanent hearing loss is inflicted. While suppressors are heavily regulated and taxed in the United States, many European nations with strict gun control laws require the use of a suppressor for recreational shooting and hunting. There, suppressors are often available over-the-counter for purchase.


About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to


Media contact:
Mark Oliva
202-220-1340 ext. 204

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