Silencers A Threat to Public Safety study determines…silencers scare me, they should be banned.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we are talking about the hilarious new study published by the Violence Policy Center on silencers which looks like it belongs in the children's section at the library!
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As you are probably aware, for the last several years the silencer industry has been ramping up public awareness about their products. Companies learned that the best way to sell their product is to educate the public as to the benefits of them. Silencer sales have steadily climbed and we’ve seen the introduction of several different pieces of legislation to deregulate silencers, such as the Hearing Protection Act, the SHUSH Act and a draft version of the SHARE Act.
For a while those who are notoriously anti-gun kept quiet regarding silencers. But within the past year or so, they have been ramping up efforts and becoming more vocal about their opposition to the deregulation of scary silencers, predicating this opposition on what Hollywood has told them about silencers. The latest iteration is a paper published by the Violence Policy Center or VPC in late June.
The VPC released an updated study unsurprisingly entitled “Silencers A Threat to Public Safety ”.
For those of you that don’t know, the VPC was founded and is run by Josh Sugarmann, who is responsible for such eloquent quotes like “The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” In other words, he thinks the public is stupid. So you can already get an idea of what we’re likely dealing with. Interestingly enough, for someone who doesn’t like guns, Mr. Sugarmann does have an FFL. You can find out more information about that in the FOIA request from Reddit user LonelyMachines in the description below.
The “study” begins by recounting a brief background of the regulation of silencers, followed by some quotes cherry picked to make them seem like the tools of assassins, ending with statements that the gun industry is seeking to mislead the public and lawmakers as to the true purpose of silencers. It then takes a long walk off a short pier by explaining that silencers are, in fact, used in crimes. The Silencers A Threat to Public Safety study provides 16 examples where silencers were allegedly used in crimes or illegal activity. And to make matters better, a lot of them cite news articles, since we know the media ALWAYS gets it right. Here’s a quick glance at a few of the Silencers A Threat to Public Safety study's failed examples.
- Example 1 – Father and Son Drug Trafficking Conspiracy. As the title suggests, a father and son were arrested for the importation and distribution of MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Authorities also seized some firearms, body armor and a silencer. Notably, both individuals were already prohibited persons… So essentially the VPC is using an example proving that criminals will criminals. Speaking of which…I thought ecstasy was illegal, how’d they get that?
- Example 2 – Walgreens Robbery. VPC provides two separate instances where silencers were allegedly used in Walgreens robberies. While I can’t find the disposition or court records relating to one instance where a silencer was supposedly used in a murder. The news article just states there was a silencer involved. The other example VPC utilizes did not result in an arrest or recovery of the purported firearm and silencer. I say purported because it is entirely possible someone utilized an airsoft gun and/or fake silencer. VPC is relying on a news report to show that a silencer was used in a crime when there is no definitive proof of such.
- Example 3 – Attempt to Provide Materials to ISIL. In this gem of an example, the individual was in possession of a stolen firearm that he used to murder his neighbor. He then solicited an undercover agent to build an unregistered silencer and give it to him. The FBI actually sent this guy a silencer. On top of all that, the criminal indictment indicates he murdered his neighbor 6 months prior to receiving the unregistered silencer from the government. I’m not certain how VPC can contend silencers are the threat to public safety when you have the Government providing an unregistered silencer to someone who already murdered their neighbor.
- Example 4 – Unlicensed “Ghost Gun” Silencer Operation. Their words, not mine. Eight men were charged with making firearms and selling them. Of note, they were in California and none of the firearms, including silencers that they were illegally making, were lawful in California. The US Attorney is quoted as saying “Manufacturing and selling them for profit, without complying with federal licensing rules, is both a serious crime and a serious threat to public safety.” Once again, VPC cites to another example where individuals were not complying with the law from the start.
In every instance that VPC cites, the person was already engaged in some unlawful act. The silencer has nothing to do with being a threat to public safety. Fortunately, it is rather likely that the only people who will give this paper any credence are those that won’t listen to logic and reason anyway. Because running the world on emotions is such a good plan…
So what can you do to combat this nonsense? Start by educating those around you as to the benefits of silencers and dispel some of the common myths that exist due to years of grooming from Hollywood. You can even send them episodes of The Legal Brief. And don’t spend your time arguing over whether it is a silencer or suppressor, you’ll just look like a jackass. Whatever you call it, the important part is that you are teaching someone the correct information about it.
If you haven’t already, fire up that pen and paper, computer or telephone and contact your representatives to demand they pass legislation to deregulate silencers. Currently the HPA and SHUSH Act are sitting in committee. The SHARE Act has not been assigned a bill number yet, so while you can call to support it, there is no bill number to reference.
While anti-gunners will do their best to cry wolf about the dangers of silencers, it is YOUR job to help educate those around you. The more informed people are, the less they are likely to oppose a device that is the equivalent of putting a muffler on a car.
As you can see, the VPC ” Silencers A Threat to Public Safety ” study is nothing more than pandering to its base. However, there is a danger for those who don’t know any better accepting it as truth if they aren’t willing to read past a Facebook headline. If you know someone who needs the actual facts on this subject be sure to share this video. Don’t forget to hit that like button and if you aren’t subscribed already, you better make that happen. Be sure to ring that bell so you don’t miss an episode. Check out my website adamkraut.com.
And as always thanks for watching!
Links for this episode:
- Violence Policy Center Study on Silencers: http://www.vpc.org/studies/silencers.pdf
- Sugarmann FFL FOIA: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0iquzdh25UTaXdhUjEyQXhwYWM/view
- ISIL Criminal Indictment: https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/2925.pdf
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