Doctors Prescribe Suppressors for Hearing Protection

After years of college, medical school, residency, and practice, you’d hope that most doctors would be pretty smart. A group of doctors called Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO) shows just how smart they are in a recent white paper endorsing the use of suppressors to prevent firearm-related hearing loss. Read more in this report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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Doctors say suppressors are the most effective way to protect hearing from gunfire.


It is going to be a bitter pill for gun critics to swallow. Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership just published a white paper saying suppressors are the best medicine to prevent hearing loss from the sound of gunfire.

This puts to rest the bogus claim from the Americans for Responsible Solutions that foam earplugs are the best way to protect hearing. That now thoroughly debunked claim, tweeted out as a “fact,” by the group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, earned three Pinnochios from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column.

Here are the facts straight from the guys in the white coats who actually went to medical school and who are able to draw medical conclusions based upon peer-reviewed scientific evidence.

“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 Dr. Arthur Przebinda, the group’s director. “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.”

This is why these doctors support passage of the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 367 and in the Senate as S. 59. They cited evidence of instant and permanent hearing loss reported by government and military researchers, as well as in medical journals.

The bottom line is this: The sound of gunfire is 140 to more than 170 decibels, loud enough to cause instant and permanent hearing loss. Stuffing in foam ear plugs helps, but only to the tune of 20-30 decibels, still louder than a car horn from three feet away and enough to cause damage.

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Suppressors commonly reduce gunfire noise by 30 decibels, but also they also have a greater ability to reduce the impulse pressure associated with noise to below the 140 decibel threshold, where instant damage occurs. This is why not just these doctors, but also the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that suppressors are the only effective method for noise control when it comes to gunfire.

It’s time to tune out the false claims coming from the gun control crowd who apparently support hearing loss. Congress should listen to the doctors’ advice and pass the Hearing Protection Act. Pass two bills and call these doctors in the morning.

Are you glad these Doctors prescribe suppressors to prevent hearing loss? With medical backing, do you think you might try to purchase a silencer soon? Tell us more in the comments.

37 Comments On This Article

  1. It’s completely ridicules that you should have to ask permission and pay $200 for a tax stamp, then wait 6 months or more for the ATF to let you own a suppressor. It’s illegal to drive your car or motorcycle without a muffler. Wouldn’t it be better if they didn’t have mufflers so you could hear them coming so you wouldn’t get hit and killed? Yet anyone can buy a muffler even without owning a motor vehicle.

  2. I have hearing loss due strictly to the fact of gunfire from the military days to recreational ” ear plug ” shooting…and suppressors’ need to be reasonably priced or it’s all a moot point…up to $800 for a suppressor is ridiculous…

  3. I couldn’t agree more, no machined tube cost $500 to over a $1,000 to produce. Firearms manufacturers are making rifles and pistols, which are doing all of the heavy lifting. It’s like saying your car is 8K and a muffler for it is 11K, doesn’t make any sense, purely a gouge market. I’m sure if everyone saw the bottom line, they would be sickened. Truth, be told, once this is approved there are going to be 100 more companies jumping into this business and it’s going to shatter the hold these companies have had, justice will be served.

    • Don’t kid yourself, there is no conspiracy within the suppressor manufactures to drive up prices. People are buying what is currently on the market now at current prices with the hassle of a $200 stamp.

      As journeyman machinist, prior to becoming an Engineer and owner/maker of multiple suppressors, I have to disagree with you. The raw materials being used in the top end suppressors are by themselves costly. Stellite, Inconel & Ti are all premium materials with a premium price tags. The last suppressor I built (Inconel baffles with Titanium tubing) cost me $500 in materials alone! These material require special tooling to machine such as ceramic and have a short life span. I had a solid 12 hours in machine setup and machining of the baffles & tube on my CNC 6-Axis machine center. 3hrs for fitting, welding, clean and finishing. I charge a $85/hr. shop rate. Even at half that, figure $650 in labor! So right there I have over $1300 into my Form 1 suppressor.

      • Absolutely correct. There is much more involved to make a thread-on device that can handle the abuse and still can be disassembled, cleaned, and used for years to come.

  4. twitterisfortwits

    If suppressors were legal for everyone, more would buy them and more companies would enter the market. The price would drop quickly. I pray it happens, for the sake of my remaining hearing!

  5. While I’m all for suppressor use they will have to be much more readily available before there’s a significant impact. Most of my shooting is at a gun range so unless everyone there has a suppressor I’ll still be using the best hearing protection I can find.

  6. Have been shopping around for suppressor’s all are highly priced, I would pay for quality product but why does it take 9 months for paper work to be approved?

  7. There’s also evidence associating hearing loss to atrophy of the brain responsible for processing of auditory signals and possible contribution to dementia development.

  8. Suppressors are the upcoming marketing trend. We’ve already got our hi cap pistols, and onto the last trend of larger caliber subcompacts, so the silencer has just rolled onto the “gotta-have” scene. It’s already been suggested in some circles that, if you don’t have a threaded barrel, ‘you ain’t squat’.

    I’ve already managed to match my wardrobe to my concealed carry holsters. So, how do I adapt CC to some big-honkin’ suppressor? Don’t like shoulder rigs nor long overcoats, so apparently this is just another range toy moneymaker for retailers.

  9. Ear plugs they are crazy! A few years back forgot my ears and used ear buds which essentially are ear plugs. After about an hour plus shooting AR15, 9mm and 45 I left the range with ringing in both ears. And until today I still have that ringing in my ears which won’t go away! Tell that to the dumbass liberals!

  10. Concealed Carry weapons are not fired unless needed, outside of a range. Your not going to put in ear plugs or put on muffs before protecting your self. In a range situation you can protect your hearing with a suppressor. Muffs and or earplugs will help. As as person with hearing loss
    ( work, concerts and shooting) hearing loss is cumulative. If we can get this passed the industry will innovate with demand/ competition. The cost will drop as will the size and effectiveness.

  11. Yes I am very happy that the truth has finally came to light, but even with suppressor you should wear hearing protection, take it from one who has to wear hearing aids, now when I go shooting I removed my aids and put molded ear plugs and earmuffs. Please protect your hearing!

  12. I always thought it was ironic that as unenlightened most of Europe is about guns, not only are suppressors encouraged in many areas, many times they’re sold with the guns.

  13. I am a retired LEO firearms instructor of over 32 years and during this time i have had a 50 % hearing loss due gunfire . It would be nice to be able to have a suppressor at a affordable price.

  14. I have hearing loss due to the 5″ guns firing on the decks of two ships I was serving on while in the US Navy + gunfire from 30+ years of hunting & recreational shooting! I now need to wear hearing aids all the time.
    What will I do if I buy a suppressor but the guy next to me at the range has no suppressor? Besides till I buy threaded barrels for several of my guns + a suppressors in several calibers the cost will be too much for me!

  15. Craig William Marshall

    I have. Experienced hearing loss from 20 years ago when hearing protection was not required at gun ranges. I would go plinking my 22 when everyone else was sighting in their 30/06 or 45 pistols blowing my hearing out

  16. You can manufacturer a firearm for yourself legally now. So I guess you can make a suppressor for yourself once this hearing protection act becomes law. So you could make one cheap especially for a .22 caliber. But I would rather have a well manufactured one.

    • Suppressing .22 is the dirtiest of all. Lead build up even using only plated ammo. If you go forward, get one that is easy to disassemble and clean. Get a good one.

  17. Hearing loss is permanent, and some people are more vulnerable than others.
    Excellent point by George – even with suppressors, use hearing protection.

  18. Care needs to be taken here. I can see some anti gun saying the gun community is right and they will try to make suppressors mandatory for all firearms. They would “work” for with the government and make up things so the suppressors are taxed to the point where they are no longer affordable.

    Go look in you gun cabinet and count the number of your firearms that are not threaded. I know I don’t want to put a suppressor on my Remington 7600 or my 10/22.

    The OPTION to have a suppressor would be great.

  19. The cost of suppressors will drop dramatically when they can be made and sold in mass production, i.e., when the $200 transfer tax goes away.

  20. Once a suppressor can be manufactured by someone without paying exorbitant licensing fees to the ATF there will be a flood of new companies entering the market. Competition will go up and prices will drop. Also parts will be more available and making your own will be easier. That being said I suspect the drop in prices and ease of purchase will make it more attractive to buy than build.

  21. I own two suppressors. I believe most people think suppressor are whisper quiet. Not true. They are not the super stealthy killing devices used to get away with crime. My modern, high quality .22 suppressor on a pistol sounds like high velocity ammo through a long rifle. The equally high quality .30 cal. on my AR15 is almost as loud as a .22 hand gun with no suppressor. On my AR10, you still need to wear ear protection. It’s loud. My point is this, they are great fun without upsetting neighbors and the .30 is awesome for hunting when there is often no time for throwing on a set ears. The ignorance associated with the depiction on movies and TV will be very hard to overcome without re-education of the masses.

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