Tool for evil people or another way to enjoy shooting?
Suppressors have an almost mythical quality about them. Advocates point out the benefits of using them and the facts about their usage. Detractors argue that there is a reason they are heavily regulated and difficult to obtain. With a Republican Congress and President, can gun owners finally find an easy way to own them?
Hearing Protection Act
Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC-3) and John Carter (TX-31) introduced the Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367, on January 9th, 2017. The Act would remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act transfer process and also remove the federal transfer tax on suppressors. Thus, the buyer would still undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check, but the $200 transfer tax would be removed.
Purchasers of suppressors in the 42 states where they are legal wouldn’t have to wait the six months or more for the ATF to approve the paperwork.
Now we need to legalize suppressors in the eight remaining states.
ATF Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk wrote a 'whitepaper' that suggests regulations for suppressors are no longer useful or relevant. He writes that public opinion on suppressors have changed in recent years, the backlog for suppressor paperwork with the ATF is significant causing substantial wait times for law-abiding American Citizens, suppressors are being used by more and more hunters and sport shooters, and the fact that they are legal in 42 States.
Gun Control Groups are predictably apocalyptic.
Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners.
Absent some kind of cataclysmic hearing-loss crisis by America’s tens of millions of gun owners, this political push should be recognized for what it is: an effort to provide an extremely small benefit to gun owners that willfully ignores what can happen to others once a bullet leaves a gun barrel. The lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate. Just ask anyone caught in the vicinity of a shooting.
Mr. Spitzer’s argument is specious at best. He argues that the noise of the gunshot is beneficial to society because of the warning it gives. Yet, between 1995 and 2005 only 15 suppressed guns were used in crimes. In fact, the number of suppressors that are federally-registered has quadrupled from 2006 to 2016. You would think that suppressed firearms are used in crimes at an epidemic level. They’re not.
Gun-Control Advocates also want to discredit any health benefits to using suppressed firearms.
Manufacturers say it’s illogical to raise a higher bars to silencer purchases than gun purchases, but this is a double-edged sword. They may be right, but that’s an argument for making guns as hard to buy as silencers, rather than the other way around.
Gun control advocates don’t buy these pro-silencer arguments and neither should you. The argument that silencer sales promote public health by protecting hearing is a smokescreen, they say, for a deregulatory initiative that would largely benefit the firearms industry while increasing the dangers of firearm violence.
"There’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire," says Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "There is evidence of a public health crisis from gun violence, and we think that’s where legislative efforts should be directed."
Gun violence activists see the push for silencer deregulation as largely a marketing ploy by the manufacturing industry. "The industry is focused on producing and selling military-style firearms," observes Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center. "Silencers are part of the appeal of the militarized firearm. The industry sells them as an add-on."
Since the election of Donald J. Trump and having a Second Amendment supporter like Donald Trump, Jr in the Whitehouse, Gun-Control Advocates are having to fight many battles to stop gun freedom and are seeing their agenda pushed to where it belongs: the back of the bus.
* The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Guns & Tactics Magazine,
the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.