How Easy Should It Be to
Buy a Silencer for a Gun?

By James K. Williamson. June 14th, 2017

Gunfire is dangerously loud. Most handguns and rifles produce peak noise levels over 150 decibels -- noisier than a jet engine at takeoff, higher than the maximum threshold set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for what can cause permanent hearing damage.

On Wednesday, an 83-year-old debate over whether the government should continue to tightly regulate the sale of devices that make guns somewhat less loud will come before the House Natural Resource Committee. The measure up for consideration is the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE), sponsored by South Carolina Republican Jeff Duncan. The bill would also weaken the requirements for transporting a firearm across state lines and make it easier to purchase armor-piercing bullets.

The SHARE Act would remove suppressors -- also known as silencers -- from a list of items regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act, which also includes machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and destructive devices. Currently, suppressor purchases require an application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the payment of a $200 tax .......

This is quite a comprehensive look at the subject from various angles. The usual approach from those against deregulation is based in part on "Holywood hype" and the assumption that it would threaten communities and law enforcement. Of course the other common misconception is that silencers actually silence, which they do not for the most part - they indeed only suppress and help remove the extreme hearing damaging shock wave - limiting it to a safer level.

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