The huge drop-off in silencer sales was also a big topic of discussion at SHOT Show, though for the irony of it all. Buyers are waiting for the Hearing Protection Act to pass before purchasing their next silencers, and this is already hurting the industry. Dealers and distributors both have been cancelling orders for new silencers as some have seen their sales drop from several cans per day to one or two per week.
The part I think many of those waiting are missing is that if the HPA passes, demand for silencers will spike overnight. Every FFL in the country will become a dealer, and all of those fence sitters will be joined by gun owners who suddenly realize for the first time that silencers are legal. This will shrink availability to nothing and drive prices through the roof. You thought a 9 month wait for your stamp was bad? After the HPA passes, you might be waiting much longer than that just to have a pre-order filled on the can that you wanted.
The HPA will be a fantastic thing for all of us if it passes. Part of it includes a tax credit for all silencer stamps you’ve paid for since October 22nd, 2015. This means that buying a silencer now will put the silencer you want in your hands sooner than waiting for the HPA to pass, and you’ll be financially made whole at the end.
If the HPA does NOT pass, then you still made a great choice getting the can you wanted when you wanted it. I expect there to be a spike in demand even then as all of those waiting for it to pass now realize there’s nothing left to wait for before purchasing.
RECOIL’s online magazine has a great article written by someone who has been associated with the silencer industry for quite a while. Give it a read to see what the manufacturers are saying about the wait for the HPA.