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Old September 28, 2015, 10:39 PM   #1
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Using a suppressor on a home defense gun?

I have been debating this for some time. Do you think it is a good idea or a legal nightmare to suppress a home defense gun? I think the loss of blast would make a huge difference.
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all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old September 28, 2015, 10:51 PM   #2
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My go to HD is my suppressed Tavor....

Why do you believe it would be a legal nightmare to suppress a home defense weapon? I believe taking steps to help save hearing should be a priority.
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Old September 28, 2015, 10:55 PM   #3
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I am worried that people (the Jury) may see it like I think that I am some kind of movie hero when in fact I just value my hearing. I don't want them to get any wrong ideas should I ever be forced with such a horrible situation.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old September 28, 2015, 11:00 PM   #4
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Long debated topic.

I run a surpressed pistol as my "nightstand" gun and have a surpressed 300blk SBR'd AR as the big house gun

I am not worried about the legal aftermath of using NFA guns to defend my family in my Home
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Old September 28, 2015, 11:02 PM   #5
CodeSection
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Understood. So, can someone please describe my intent when purchasing a suppressor? Is there a law that says I cannot use it in a home defensive situation? Or for that matter, any defensive situation?

A prosecuting attorney's job may be to try spin or persuade a jury on matters that are irrelevant but sound scary...suppressor, killer bullet, etc... It is also a defense attorney's job to dispel ignorance and misinformation.

I seriously doubt your legal troubles would be influenced by the use of a suppressor.
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Old September 29, 2015, 03:50 AM   #6
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This is a fairly common subject. Here's another thread about using NFA firearms for home defense:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=557160
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Old September 29, 2015, 07:39 AM   #7
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My experience with customers looking to use their suppressed handgun for home defense is that it is being accepted more and more all the time. It is a growing business segment for the suppressor manufacturers. How do you think Silencerco will market this handgun/suppressor when it's available next year?

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Old September 29, 2015, 08:59 AM   #8
Bartholomew Roberts
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I own multiple suppressors; but none of my home defense firearms are suppressed for the following reasons:

1) If I am using lethal force, it is a matter of life and death. I want my neighbors to hear gunshots. I want people to call 911 in the event I am unable to do so. A suppressor reduces the number of neighbors who are likely to hear gunshots and call 911.

2) From a psychological standpoint, I want the person I am shooting at to feel as though Thor himself is hurling thunderbolts at them. I want them to feel the wave from the muzzle blast, have their ears ring and see white spots from the muzzle flash. That is a fine line to walk though since I don't want any of those things to effect me

3) I live alone with multiple dogs so a suppressor doesn't help me communicate with a spouse or children or help me identify "good guys" vs. "bad guys" who might also be shooting.

4) A suppressor adds length and bulk that I do not need in that situation

So just from a tactics perspective, those are the reasons I do not use a suppressor on my home defense firearm. Sometimes I think people who think about a suppressor for a home defense firearm may have been unduly influenced by Hollywood and think they are going to stand in a dark corner and stealthily eliminate their invaders ninja-style; but the truth is you'd need a really big house before even a suppressed .22LR with subsonics wouldn't be immediately noticeable by the person you were shooting at.

From a legal perspective, if you get in a borderline self defense shooting where you end up being charged, a suppressor is really unlikely to help your legal defense. The best case scenario is that you can educate your defense attorney, who in turn can make a good argument with the help of an expert witness.

Having said that, you have to understand ANYTHING is going to be used against you if you end up getting charged. If you trained too little, you're negligent and dangerous. If you train too much, you're a Rambo-wannabe just waiting to shoot someone. There is no Goldilocks level of "just-right." So you can't make decisions about how to handle an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury based only on what a prosecutor might say if he disagrees with your view on the necessity of lethal force.

I would advise people to sit down and give some conscious thought as to why they want to use certain equipment. What benefits does it offer? What are the risks (which includes not just the probability of an event; but the consequences of a rare event)?

Do you shoot better with a suppressor because the lack of noise and flash makes you less flinchy? How much better? Get out there with a shot timer and evaluate it. Better yet, document it in your shooting log.

Do you have a spouse who is armed? A suppressor for both of you might help distinguish their shooting from bad guys shooting and will aid in communication between you and any other household members.

Are you living in a meth lab where flammable vapors are an issue?

You get the idea though... evaluate the benefits, consider the possible negatives (IF I get charged, I'll at least need to fork out for an expert witness and an attorney who can present a good argument) and decide for yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze in that situation. A real good way to test this is to talk to your spouse/friend/family - someone who knows you well and knows what you own firearm wise - and explain your logic to them. If they look at you like your crazy, then at a minimum, you know you need to work on a more convincing argument for that plan; because a jury is not likely to be kinder to you.
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Old September 29, 2015, 04:32 PM   #9
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Shooting an unsuppressed 5.56 AR inside your home means you'll likely experience permanent hearing loss.

There is a reason many military units are equipping their M4's with silencers....and it isn't about being stealthy.
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Old September 30, 2015, 03:41 PM   #10
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Suppressors have been registered at almost exponential rates over the past 10 years. They're hugely popular. If it's a clear shoot, it's possible it won't go to court. For instance, if 3 men break down your door with axes and machetes and you have to shoot, there's a good chance that you will be cleared without trial - though that's not necessarily a chance I would bank on. Anything can be an issue, but I don't think that's likely to be a defining one.

I go back and forth between if I would rather have a suppressed firearm or a short-barreled .308 with a muzzle brake that would bring the "Hammer of Thor" to the person on the other side. Electronic hearing protection would be required for the second option without a doubt.
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Old September 30, 2015, 07:27 PM   #11
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"From a psychological standpoint, I want the person I am shooting at to feel as though Thor himself is hurling thunderbolts at them. I want them to feel the wave from the muzzle blast, have their ears ring and see white spots from the muzzle flash."

That's one reason I keep a 11.5" AR above the bed.

"Shooting an unsuppressed 5.56 AR inside your home means you'll likely experience permanent hearing loss."

I already have 60-75% hearing loss so doubt it will make things too much worse. That hearing loss most likely resulted from 5 rounds of full house 357 mag from a 4" barrel in a 12' x 12' room, BUT I walked out of that room.
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Old September 30, 2015, 08:23 PM   #12
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If you have to shoot, you could always take the suppressor off the gun afterwards..........
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Old September 30, 2015, 09:28 PM   #13
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Suppressors ("silencers") were put under the NFA in the first place not because they were being used in crime (they weren't), but because they were seen as "sneaky" and "un-American", employed by evil foreigners and something no honest, upstanding, red-blooded American would even consider using.

That attitude permeates suppressor law and discussion to this day. I know of no case in which the use of a suppressor on a self defense weapon has made any difference in the charges or possible charges against the shooter. But then I have never known of ANY such case where a suppressor was involved.

Still, it is not hard to see an anti-gun prosecutor, or a plaintiff's attorney in a civil case, using a suppressor as "proof" that the shooter is some kind of warped assassin, involved in a "James Bond" fantasy, etc. Since a self-defense situation would not normally require extended firing or do permanent hearing damage, I would rather not give an anti-gun nutcase more "ammunition" to use against me.

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Old October 1, 2015, 08:56 PM   #14
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My home defense weapon will be a suppressed sbr as soon as my stamps come in.
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Old October 1, 2015, 11:30 PM   #15
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I've never seen how a suppressor could be considered damaging in a self-defense related legal trial.

If the suppressor is legal and properly obtained, obviously the question is whether or not the shooting was justified. In reality, a .22 LR or a .500 S&W should be treated equally.

I'd be concerned about what would happen if someone else uses the setup (for example your husband or wife) to defend themselves, since I believe that the suppressor can only be used by the person listed on the ATF form. Someone would have to double check me on the rules here (I think a trust bypasses this).

If I had the money, I would include a suppressor as part of a home defense handgun.
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Old October 2, 2015, 01:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9x18_Walther
I've never seen how a suppressor could be considered damaging in a self-defense related legal trial.

If the suppressor is legal and properly obtained, obviously the question is whether or not the shooting was justified. In reality, a .22 LR or a .500 S&W should be treated equally.
That's not how our legal system works. Various things that should be unrelated can have a real-life influence on whether the police decide to arrest you, the DA decides to bring charges, or whether the jury decides to convict.

After all, why do you think defense attorneys have their clients clean up their appearance and wear professional-looking clothes at their trial? If they wore torn and ratty jeans, spiked their hair, and showed off their tattoos and piercings, shouldn't that be irrelevant to the outcome of the trial? Sure, in a perfect world it wouldn't be a factor. But things like that have been shown to have an influence on the jury, right or wrong.

Now, the questions is whether a silencer on an HD gun would make a measurable difference in whether the homeowner was charged or even convicted in an HD shooting event. And I think we all can agree that it's probably pretty unlikely to be a deciding factor. But the idea that a DA or a jury would never be influenced by the presence of a silencer is ridiculous; how often do you hear people say things like, "Why do you need a silencer if you're not an assassin?" Is it impossible to imagine that someone who views silencers that way could end up being a police officer, a DA, or a jury member?

I have to say, I think it's a small enough possibility that I think most people shouldn't worry about it. But you should read the other thread where some of our resident lawyers weigh in on the subject:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=557160
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Old October 2, 2015, 11:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
That's not how our legal system works. Various things that should be unrelated can have a real-life influence on whether the police decide to arrest you, the DA decides to bring charges, or whether the jury decides to convict.
Sorry, I should have mentioned I live in a pretty 2nd-amendment friendly state.

I probably would change my thinking elsewhere in the country.
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Old October 2, 2015, 11:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
I'd be concerned about what would happen if someone else uses the setup (for example your husband or wife) to defend themselves, since I believe that the suppressor can only be used by the person listed on the ATF form.
Ahhh...another gray area in NFA law. Anyone can use my NFA guns, as long as i am present. A buddy on the range or while hunting can shoot my suppressed guns without issue.

I would think that if i left a surpressed weapon out and went to the store (out of the house temporarily) and my wife used thst surpressed gun to defend herself, no issue would be made about her being "in possession". If i left that same suppressed gun out while i was gone for 3 months out of the country...maybe
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Old October 2, 2015, 11:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9x18_Walther
Sorry, I should have mentioned I live in a pretty 2nd-amendment friendly state.

I probably would change my thinking elsewhere in the country.
It doesn't matter what state you live in, my comment applies to all states. Assuming our justice system is truly blind and that nothing that's not directly related to the case can sway the outcome is simply wishful thinking.

No matter where you live or how pro-2nd-Amendment your state is, the type of gun you use could be a negative factor. Now, in your state it's probably less likely to be a factor than in others (or it could even be a factor in the other direction), but there's still the possibility.

I'm guessing by your comment that you still haven't read through the thread I linked twice so far. I recommend reading it, especially the posts by Frank Ettin. Here's a direct link to his first post in that thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...6&postcount=46
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Old October 2, 2015, 02:45 PM   #20
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If you use a suppressor to defend your self in your own home, does any law prevent you from removing the suppressor before you call the police?
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Old October 2, 2015, 02:58 PM   #21
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Skans, that's a good question. It might be considered tampering with evidence. Or if it's not illegal, I'd bet a lawyer would still recommend you not do that because it could look bad for you if someone found out; it would look like you're hiding something. But I'm not a lawyer and I don't know the answer, so I'll let people who know more about the subject answer that.
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Old October 2, 2015, 03:22 PM   #22
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simple ear muffs on the night stand. they don't silence the sound of a door being kicked open or a window being busted, but they do dampen the sound of a magazine being unloaded on attackers.
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