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Old September 25, 2012, 09:48 PM   #1
45YearsShooting
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Silencers

Has there been any effort by the NRA or others to attempt to remove silencers from the NFA restrictions? Seems to me this is a possibly winnable fight, given the benefits of silencers (reduced hearing damage and annoyance to others). Even gun-phobic nations like the U.K. don't have the restrictions on silencers that we do.

Are there insurmountable legal problems that keep us from picking this fight, or is it due to apathy from most of us?
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Old September 26, 2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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I don't think it's a winnable fight any time in the foreseeable future.

I think Hollywood has poisoned the well to the point where it's not worth pursuing.

Suppressors are almost always depicted as assassin's tools, not safety devices,so this is how the public thinks of them.
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Old September 26, 2012, 06:03 AM   #3
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Silencers have their advantages as well as some disadvantages. But people who don't have the knowledge about them seem to frown on them. Which is most people.
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Old September 26, 2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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The tide is turning. For example, see this article on The New Gun Culture.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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I think it would potentially be a winnable fight, but for now I don't know that there's a significant groundswell of support for it. Many states have their own restrictions on suppressor ownership, so even if we manage to get them removed from the NFA on the federal level it won't mean much to some in certain states.

IMO, while it would be nice, I think a good place to begin would be to try and get the NFA branch to speed up approvals... imagine if a Form 4 went through in less than a month instead of taking six.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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Pragmatically, it isn't going to happen with the current set of players in the Congress, White House or SCOTUS - even after any possible election outcomes.

Too much going on in the country and world to deal with that.

Would be nice though.
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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I would just like to be able to have one...even if i had to buy the stamp and wait

I think it would be a winable battle. However there are far more important gun rights issues on the table IMHO
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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It would be nice but I don't think it's a winnable (or even "fightable") fight in the near future.

Most Americans have generations of thinking that suppressors are "illegal" and they're illegal because they're "evil".

By and large, American's don't see them as useful tools to protect ears and reduce noise pollution, they see them as an assassins tool with no purpose except killing in silence.

Add to that Glenn's point, and you've got a battle that won't even be fought, say nothing of won.
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:24 AM   #9
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Pragmatically, it isn't going to happen with the current set of players in the Congress, White House or SCOTUS
The problem is that they're regulated by the NFA, and we'd have to challenge that as a whole. That includes machine guns and things like the Street Sweeper.

Any effort to repeal the NFA at this time would lead to accusations that we want OMAGERD MACHINE GUNS ON OUR PLAYGROUNDS, and we'd be swamped.

Essentially, the NFA is a tax on a civil right, and the Supreme Court has found that unconstitutional as applied to the 1st Amendment, but we're a ways off from doing so with the 2nd. There are other roadblocks to clear first.
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:57 AM   #10
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In WA last year, a basic anti (not rabid) democrat gov signed a bill to allow legally held silencers in WA State...repealing part of what another (rabid) anti demo govenor had banned them (and other NFA items) in 1994)

The argument that won...Hearing damage.
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Old September 26, 2012, 12:15 PM   #11
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Yes, but the ban in question was a state-level one, not the NFA itself.
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Old September 26, 2012, 12:50 PM   #12
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An aside question. Don't know where else to put it

Maybe this is a subject for Myth Busters.

Grocery Store Fiction has mentioned stuff ranging from mty Milk/OJuice jugs to Oil filters and mufflers for lawn mowers as expedient ways to muffle sound. Movies and TV seem to favor throw pillows.

Does any of that have even a faint ring of truth attached? Remotely plausable?

Thanks,

salty
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Old September 26, 2012, 12:53 PM   #13
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Battles have been won handily on state levels while those self same issues get zero traction at the federal level. Otherwise, we'd have seen nationwide CCW by now.

I tend to agree with those who say it will be well-nigh impossible to get any momentum for this kind of thing federally, at least for the time being. We'd need to get more people interested in it by making new suppressor owners. IMO, the obstacle to this is neither the $200 tax stamp nor the other NFA hurdles, but rather the glacial pace to the entire process. If I could get my hands on a suppressor in a matter of 4-6 weeks from placing my order and plunking down cash, I'd likely have more than I do now (those I do have ended up being about a 10 month wait once everything was factored in).

It would likely be easier to insert a mandated time interval for the ATF to do their thing- limit them to 30 or 45 days, and if needed, even give a tax increase of $50 to hire more people to get it done. That would speed up everything- SBRs, AOWs, the whole of the NFA world.
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Old September 26, 2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Grocery Store Fiction has mentioned stuff ranging from mty Milk/OJuice jugs to Oil filters and mufflers for lawn mowers as expedient ways to muffle sound. Movies and TV seem to favor throw pillows.
I've heard that potatoes do a pretty reasonable job.
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Old September 26, 2012, 01:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltydog452
Does any of that have even a faint ring of truth attached? Remotely plausable?

Thanks,

salty
It rings true as a Federal Felony, I can tell you that much.
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Old September 26, 2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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It rings true as a Federal Felony, I can tell you that much.
I do know of one case in which a soda bottle was used, and the person was charged. He beat the charges, but the legal fees were fairly epic.
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Old September 26, 2012, 01:52 PM   #17
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The former owner of AAC reportedly said they were lobbying to have silencers claassified as AOW so they could sell more. They didn't actually want them removed from the NFA because then they would have increased competition for that market.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:43 PM   #18
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Grocery Store Fiction has mentioned stuff ranging from mty Milk/OJuice jugs to Oil filters and mufflers for lawn mowers as expedient ways to muffle sound. Movies and TV seem to favor throw pillows.
Oil filters there is truth to, but I think its a case of life imitating art not the other way around. Meet the EconoCan
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:39 AM   #19
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The former owner of AAC reportedly said they were lobbying to have silencers claassified as AOW so they could sell more. They didn't actually want them removed from the NFA because then they would have increased competition for that market.
Wouldn't that let everyone sell more and increase competition?

It would be nice if supressors were much less expensive than throw pillows.
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:56 AM   #20
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Yes, but the ban in question was a state-level one, not the NFA itself
Tom, it is true that this was a state level fight, but Law Enforcement lead that fight, for health reasons.

I do not see why LE cannot do the same at the federal level...for hearing health reasons, especially now that we have obama care and it will save the gov money.
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Old September 27, 2012, 02:57 PM   #21
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Wouldn't that let everyone sell more and increase competition?
Keeping them AOW means that the price drops $195 for every silencer out there; but as it is still an NFA weapon, only Special Occupational Taxpayers get to enjoy the resulting sales.

If it gets moved out of NFA entirely, then they are competing against the entire firearms industry.
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:19 PM   #22
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They are unregulated in the UK precisely because of the tight gun laws. Someone haveing a suppressor for his deer rifle really isn't much of an issue. In a densely packed nation it stops gun phobic residents getting stressed out, can reduce recoil, protects hearing etc all good, really no downside.

In a nation where one can buy a handgun as easily as you can in much of the US, it is a little different. The reality is a suppressed handgun is an extremely convenient weapon with which to commit crime. That is why nations with tight gun laws often have no regulation on suppressors, and ones with liberal laws have tight regulations on suppressors.
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:23 PM   #23
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The reality is a suppressed handgun is an extremely convenient weapon with which to commit crime. That is why nations with tight gun laws often have no regulation on suppressors, and ones with liberal laws have tight regulations on suppressors.
I suppose that's why there are soooo many crimes where suppressors are used...
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:37 PM   #24
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Good point. Given most economic gun crimes start with the gun presented and the victim complying, an expensive suppressor probably doesn't enter into the mind of the robber. They don't particularly care about such - any old gun would do.

Crimes of passion - having a silencer is a nonissue. They are driven by the intent and then go for the weapon. Having a silencer doesn't seem to fit into the interview studies of those who committed such crimes.

Deliberate assassinations or drive bys? Maybe in the extremely rare first case. Drive-bys probably want to make a statement by the pray and spray nature of the gun fire.
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:41 PM   #25
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Not saying I agree with it lads, just giving what I would consider to be the reason for the difference in the laws between the UK and USA on the suppressor issue - as was mentioned in the original post.
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