A state lawmaker is seeking an end to Tennessee's firearm silencer ban in the name of "hearing protection." Republican Rep. Tilman Goins of Morristown has filed legislation that would remove silencers from the list of weapons banned for having "no common lawful purpose." Others include machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, brass knuckles and explosive weapons. The possession, manufacture or sale of a silencer is considered a felony under current state law. Goins has dubbed his bill the "Tennessee Hearing Protection Act" of 2017. The legislation follows several years of efforts to loosen gun restriction in Tennessee. Lawmakers are also expected to take up renewed efforts to eliminate permitting requirements in order to carry handguns in public. About 582,000 Tennesseans currently hold handgun carry permits.