Let’s Deregulate Suppressors (Silencers)
Russ Chastain 07.15.14
So many gun laws make no sense. In fact, most of them can be picked apart quite easily. But one of the most ridiculous is the fact that suppressors (sometimes erroneously referred to as silencers) are strictly regulated in the USA and have been for the past eighty years.
Does anyone think this has made us safer?
Perhaps it would interest my fellow Americans to learn that in South Africa, where it is very difficult to obtain a gun of any kind, sound suppressors can be bought very easily, almost as a common hardware item. Even a nation that is horribly strict about gun ownership recognizes that suppressors do not need government control.
Hunting with a suppressor is a good idea. Not only is it much easier on the ears of hunters and their companions, it reduces the chance that the sound of a shot will disturb nearby wildlife. This could easily help a nearby hunter, who may have some animals nearby. And keeping critters calm is never a bad idea. After all, the less we disturb the woods, the better off we will be.
Target shooting with a suppressor is also very smart. It prevents hearing damage and greatly reduces any aggravation that neighbors or other nearby folks may feel. I love shooting, but listening to a barrage in the near distance can really get on my nerves. Imagine how non-gun-lovers feel. Suppressor use could greatly help the cause of shooters by reducing the perceived obnoxiousness caused by all the noise.
It is currently legal to own a suppressor in most U.S. states, but first you must go through a pains-taking process involving legal decisions, lengthy paperwork, waiting, and high fees. Even then, some states (California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island) and Washington D.C. prohibit suppressor ownership–but let’s fight one battle at a time.
A petition at whitehouse.gov is seeking 100,000 signatures by August 5, 2014. This wouldn’t necessarily cause laws to change, but it would trigger (no pun intended) an official response from the White House.
The petition says, “Removal of suppressors as an NFA regulated item would eliminate the $200 tax stamp, eliminate legality and travel issues between states, reduce hearing safety concerns related to discharging firearms, and would help people be courteous neighbors when discharging firearms.”
As of this writing, the petition has 23,572 signatures. One of them is mine, and I hope you will soon add yours.