Texas Fails With Federal Suppressor Challenge

Texas has challenged the Federal government's right to govern its citizens' use of suppressors on firearms.

Texas has failed in its bid to tell the Federal government to take a long walk off a short pier when it comes to policing suppressors in the State. The 6-3 decision in Paxton v. Deach saw Texas challenge federal regulation of suppressors under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).

Texas House Bill 957 aimed to exempt suppressors made and sold within the state from federal oversight, arguing they don’t fall under interstate commerce laws.

The state’s argument emphasized that such suppressors should not be subjected to the same federal registration and regulation requirements as those crossing state lines. The ATF maintained it would continue to enforce its laws despite the Texas specific legislation, and the battle went to the courts.

This Battle Ain’t Over

After losing in the lower courts, Texas appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, sparking rigorous debate on states’ rights versus federal authority. The Supreme Court’s ruling has raised questions about the constitutionality of federal registration requirements for locally produced suppressors, potentially setting a precedent that could influence firearm regulations nationwide.

Texas lost the case in a 6-3 ruling, but it was really about the technicalities. The Judge stated that Texas had not suffered a direct injury and no specific person was on trial. So there was no grounds to bring the case in the first place.

This decision underscores the ongoing tension between state sovereignty and federal oversight in gun control, with significant implications for future Second Amendment litigation and legislative reforms. We haver numerous cases in the Supreme Court right now, with state and Federal legislation coming under the microscope, and sometimes conflicting with each other.

Texas has not given up either. The Supreme Court’s decision in Paxton v. Dettelbach declared that universal injunctions against state laws are not allowed. This ruling is now aiding Texas in defending HB 957 as it goes to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Why Are Suppressors Strictly Regulated?

There are lots of good reasons to own a suppressor. They can be invaluable when hunting, and also in home defense when you don’t have time to get your ear protection. A suppressor is literally a safety device when it comes to your hearing, as many guns can inflict permanent hearing loss without the right protection. In a home invasion, you just don’t have time to gear up and so the strict rules regarding suppressors simply don’t make sense.

We can probably blame Hollywood for this one, as silencers were turned into a secret weapon that completely muffled the sound of gunshot. Of course that isn’t true, but the myths surrounding suppressors combined to give them a criminal image and the powers that be decided they were simply too nefarious for the general public.

That’s why they were included in the National Firearms Act legislation, along with machine guns, and that’s why we have to pay a registration fee, undergo a more rigorous background check and potentially wait months for the simple pleasure of shooting a quieter gun.

As per usual we’re on Team Texas. What side are you on?

Key Points:

  • Case: Paxton v. Deach.
  • Law in Question: Texas House Bill 957.
  • Supreme Court Decision: 6-3 in favor of redefining federal regulation scope.
  • Implications: Potential shift in federal firearm laws and increased debate on states’ rights.


  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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