Anti-gun U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) wasted no time declaring that the sky is falling when he opposed efforts to make firearms suppressors (aka”silencers”) more available to the general public in an examination of the controversy in Monday’s Huffington Post.
“There will be more crimes committed, more people killed,” he declared, if Congress passes the national Hearing Protection Act.
Second Amendment advocates contend that this is the same sort of hysteria that gun prohibitionists have used to oppose virtually every piece of legislation or any proposal that aims to stop erosion of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Anti-gunners have said essentially the same thing about expanding concealed carry, passing so-called “Constitutional Carry” legislation and adopting state preemption statutes that nullify local – and often conflicting – gun regulations.
But Jack Rinchich, president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told the HuffPo that in some 40 years of law enforcement, he could not recall recovering a firearm with a suppressor that had been used in a crime.
That’s the same conclusion reached by Ronald Turk, second in command at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a “White Paper” obtained by the Washington Post two months ago.
“Silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings,” the document noted on page 8. “Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety.”
The HuffPo article noted that suppressors do not actually eliminate the sound of gunfire, but do muffle the noise, same as a car muffler. The article quoted Jason Schauble with SilencerCo, a Utah-based firm, who explained, “Suppressors are really about taking shooting noise below 140 decibels, which is the OSHA hearing-safe level. Many suppressors end up around 130 or 120 decibels, so around the volume of a car door slamming.”
Late last year, Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, recommended passage of the Hearing Protection Act as one tenet of a list of actions Donald Trump and Congress could take to “make the Second Amendment Great Again.”
Since the legislation was introduced by Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), anti-gunners like Murphy have vigorously argued against it.
Congress is currently wrestling with the repeal/replacement of Barack Obama’s “Affordable Health Care Act.” According to the HuffPo, however, Congress is “ready to roll the dice” on the Hearing Protection Act. Hearings have yet to be scheduled.
If the bill passes and becomes law, that will leave Capitol Hill with another challenge: national concealed carry reciprocity. Prepare to hear Murphy, or some other perennial anti-gunner, to once again declare that this will also bring the end of the world as we know it.