Reduce Restrictions on Supressors

quiettruthsilencercocutawayBelieve it or not, there is a gun policy lesson that America can take from Europe. And that is to refrain from restricting the sale and possession of firearm suppressors more strictly than firearms themselves.   Suppressors are sold over the counter in some countries, and their use is considered a courtesy to neighbors.   There are suppressors on the European market created with 3D printers that are cheap and disposable. And there is no Hollywood-induced hysteria over their use.

Suppressors are often called “silencers,” but that word choice leaves the wrong impression. They do not silence the discharge of a firearm. From an engineering perspective, they are nothing more than baffle systems that contain and redirect the gasses that exit from a gun barrel. They are very similar in design to car mufflers and were, in fact, developed by the same inventor, Hiram Maxim, in the early 1900s. Maxim was inspired by his profound hearing loss from the testing of another one of his inventions – the Maxim machine gun.

A quality suppressor reduces the report of a gun shot to a level that does not require hearing protection. This has obvious benefits to hunters who are trying to pick up on the often elusive sounds of moving game, but the benefits of a suppressor can be even more sublime. One of the most common problems for hunters is poor accuracy due to anticipation of a rifle’s loud report and recoil. The anticipation can cause a flinch, tremors, or even closed eyes just before pulling the trigger. Accuracy suffers as a result.

quiettruthhunters1But the use of a suppressor reduces muzzle report, recoil and muzzle flip. Hunters can focus on accuracy, instead of tensing up for the concussive aftermath of firing a large caliber centerfire round through a long-barreled rifle.

State legislatures are taking notice of the exploding popularity of suppressors by eliminating barriers to their possession and use. This year alone, three more states have legalized either possession and/or their use in hunting. As of August 1, suppressors will be legal to possess in 41 states, and legal for hunting in 37. More will surely follow.

The market has already taken notice, with dozens of new companies now selling nothing else. And the major manufacturers are jumping in as well, starting new production lines of suppressors to match their offerings of firearms.   If you haven’t followed these developments, take the time for a quick online search and you will be surprised by the sheer number of offerings that have emerged.

silencercoomegaYes, the federal paperwork is still a hassle. It involves copious paperwork, a $200 transfer tax, and lengthy wait for approvals. But assistance is just a phone call away, whether to your local gun store or to an attorney experienced in setting up trusts to facilitate such transactions.

Before 1934, suppressors were sold by catalog mail order. And there are some in the nation’s capital who are already saying that suppressors should come out of the National Firearms Act. Many of these voices are currently involved in handling the enormous paperwork burden, so they have some credibility. If the debate indeed goes there, it will be because the facts, as always, are on our side.


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