At Downrange TV Michael Bane notes a report that suppressor sales have been on the rise, and makes a damn good case that that having them restricted as we do in this country borders on the ridiculous, when in countries where gun ownership is far more restrictive, suppressors are all but mandatory because of the health benefits.
I think he’s right on the money.
Suppressor manufacturers are telling me there’s more interest than they’ve ever seen before, both from LEOs and civilians. I think that’s great…more and more people are catching on that America is the only country with a psychosis about mufflers. I’ve noticed, however, that in New Zealand rimfire suppressers have “soared” in price to as much as $100. I’m going to push NSSF pretty hard on calling for suppressors to at the very least be moved from the $200 transfer tax, same as machineguns, to the $5 AOW tax. In a sane world, suppressors would be immediately “decriminalized” and promoted heavily as the safety device they are. I’m also going to talk to the big suppressor manufacturers and see if we can come up with a common campaign.
Coming fresh off my experience with a low-to-near-zero noise experience with Ultimate Training Munitions, I am strongly convinced of the merits of low noise-signature fire. If the ear-damaging blast of weapon’s fire can be mitigated somewhat by suppressors (on any normal weapon, “silencers” are movie myth, not practical reality), ranges can become a far safer place on two levels
- Suppressors allow increased communication. Range safety officers, instructors, police officers, and recreational shooters can all communicate better in an environment where the auditory volume is reduced. The better the communication, the better the safety and the better opportunity to learn.
- Suppressors are a benefit to the long-term health of shooters. Even with hearing protection, a steady diet of gunfire can have a detrimental effect on people constantly exposed to gunfire. Suppressors should be “decriminalized” and promoted as the occupational safety technology they are.
- Suppressors reduce noise pollution. Quieter ranges means higher property values for those nearby and less annoyance to neighbors.
I’m completely sold on the benefits of suppressors, and I think most rational people can be convinced of their on-paper merits relatively easily. It will take a substantial bit of re-programming, however to educate the general public that only knows suppressors as the fierce looking accessory of action-movie stars.