Old West lawman carries personal protection (8)
I believe the answer is:
'personal protection' is the definition.
I know nothing about this answer so I can't tell whether it can be defined by this definition.
'old west lawman carries' is the wordplay.
'old west lawman' becomes 'earp' (I've seen this in another clue).
'carries' becomes 'lugs' (lugging is a kind of carrying).
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for earplugs that I've seen before include "noise abatement aids", "aids to sleep?", "Stoppers to keep noise out".)