An Englishman Asks About U.S. Suppressor Law


At the SHOT Show I sat next to an Englishman who wrote for a UK hunting magazine. We talked about gun laws in Blighty and in the US, and the subject turned to gun mufflers, AKA silencers or suppressors. I was interested to learn that mufflers were relatively easy to obtain in the UK, and were in fact encouraged by the police. Having a suppressor for your rifle is considered, well, polite. A way to reduce noise pollution and avoid disturbing the neighbors. Virtually all air guns have suppressors. My new British friend turned to me and said: “I never have understood the United States regulation of suppressors?  What is the purpose of making them so hard to obtain or own?” . . .

I could not answer him.  The best speculation that I have found is that there was some mention of suppressors being used for poaching. Why else put suppressors in the same category as machine guns? But that’s only a guess.  I have never seen the purpose mentioned in the arguments for the National Firearms Act of 1934.

It’s easy to see the supposed purpose of the now completely irrational ban on short barreled rifles and shotguns.   When one of the major reasons for the original act was to make handguns illegal for most people, and registered and licensed for the  remaining few, it at least made sense at the time to make the conversion of rifles and shotguns into pistols illegal. But gun mufflers?

Maybe it was just legislative strategy, a trade-off item that was available to be taken out to allow some other provision to be included. Maybe it was simply that the Roosevelt regime grabbing for all the power it could. Likely, we will never know. Clearly, it was one of the greatest public health blunders by the federal government. Millions have lost hearing because of the extreme regulatory and financial barriers placed on gun suppressors.

Hard as it is to believe, Europe is ahead of the United States when it has come to the use of mufflers. The Finnish Supreme Court has ruled that it is a constitutional right to make, buy, sell, trade and use gun mufflers in that country. One would think, with the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution, the same would apply here.

As my British friend observed, it just doesn’t make any sense.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Paul G. says:

    First off, suppressors have no military value, so the second amendment doesn’t apply to them, What, oh, there is military use? Oh, okay, well…but they have no sporting purpose. Oh, they do….well but there is no military value…..continue cycling through the same stock answers until one give’s up thinking shall not be infringed means what it sounds like it means.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Actually, suppressors have plenty of military value. There is a resin why I loved borrowing the Mk18 from the squids, it made it a lot less painful to fire indoors. (Never actually got to hold on to it for any length of time though 🙁 ) They also have plenty of sporting value as a safety and pollution control device. In all honesty, I really hope that IL gets suppressors unbanned ASAP and that they are removed from the NFA along with SBRs, SBSs, and AOWs.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Pwrserge,

        There was a whole lot sarcasm in his post. Suppressors are pretty much flat out awesome – military value, police value, sporting value, etc. All good.

      2. avatar Benjamin Harrison says:

        Satire much appreciated. I really wish people would put suppressors on for their target shooting. Leaves a lot less noise for me to hear as someone who is not doing the shooting with the ear protection on. As for crime investigations, silencers don’t make an incredible amount of difference neccessarily. There’s plenty of other information to investigate the crime concerning the physical condition of the bullets used, the victim, etc. Even with audible gunshots being heard from inside your home, apartment, or hotel room, who is going to bother taking a look outside?

        Most guns with a high muzzle velocity are still loud even with a suppressor anyways.

    2. avatar David Lane says:

      Lovely that sound suppressors are so easily acquired in the UK. We could do a lot worse than adopting lots of firearm regulations from the UK, NZ, and other nations with more relaxed suppressor laws in place.

  2. avatar Skyler says:

    Poaching? No. It was feared that someone being able to shoot silently would be able to assassinate people without anyone know where the shooter is. It was an anti-crime measure.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      I’ve always heard the ‘silent gun’ excuse when it comes to keeping suppressors out of public hands. Thanks to misguided media, and general ignorance, a large swath of people think suppressors make gunfire no louder than a faint whisper, which isn’t the case. Attempts to allow freer access to them will be met with people crying that there will be silent shooting sprees, and their fuss will drown out reasonable arguments [such as someone wanting to decrease the invasive squirrel population without sending a school into lockdown panic mode].
      Killers get away with shooting someone without suppressors as it is, and since they’re already breaking one law, there isn’t a whole lot that’s going to stop them from breaking other laws in the process. If they’re going to kill somebody, and want to do it a little more quietly, they will find a way. The ‘silent gunman’ argument holds as much water as a colander.

    2. avatar Fred says:

      They don’t seem too common in the crime capitals of the US, and they’re pretty good at keep up the criminal activity without them. That might have been the argument, but the real reason is to make shooting less inviting and more bothersome to everyone around. Without mufflers shooting is confined to indoor facilities that charge, outdoor facilities in the middle of nowhere that charge or may not charge. If people could shoot anywhere (with proper safety precautions) then anyone could shoot regularly and get the practice they need. It reminds me of that story about the Florida man with a shooting range in his backyard. If he had mufflers no one would know and it wouldn’t be a problem for anyone. The article made it seem like he was bothering everyone at all hours of the day with gunshots.

      They want to stop the spread and normalization of gun use at all costs.

    3. avatar Gun_Chris says:

      Except the NFA preceded Hollywood spies and assassins by a few decades.

      1. avatar me says:

        Not so. Some of the very first “talkies” made in the 1930s were anti-gun agitprop of the subvariety known as “gangster movies.” Machine guns, silencers, cut-down shotguns, all such things were depicted as evil and only of interest to gangsters and assassins within a few months of the perfection of synchronized sound.

        And at the same time, the newspapers were running lurid stories as well. Somewhere on the Internet–I cannot find it at the moment–is a picture from some newspaper, headlined “some gangster” whose name I cannot recall “‘s captured arsenal of Tommy Guns,” in which an assortment of grinning Feds and cops display a table covered with revolvers, BARs, an M1919 belt-fed, and a few cut-down sporting doubles, but there is not a Thompson in sight, nor so much as a single round of .45 ACP ammunition.

        Americans swim in a sea of propaganda that makes Stalin-era agitprop murals of the blond, musclebound New Soviet Man on the wall of People’s Glorious Tractor Factory #37 look positively subtle and nuanced by comparison. It’s been going on for generations.

    4. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

      It was poaching. Machine guns were put on to stop gangsters hanging out the side of Cadillacs with $200 tommy guns and standard capacity magazines.

      Gotta give it to the gangsters, thompsons are heavy and with 50rd drums, even heavier. Hanging out the suicide doors on the running boards in a full suit holding a 16lb gun and ammo shooting while probably drunk off illegal beer? That takes muscle.

      1. avatar Paelorian says:

        That’s right, the imagined suppressed poaching menace. Suppressors have never been common enough to contribute to poaching of any significance. If shooting could be done without obnoxious and potentially dangerous noise, it could make firearms ownership dangerously popular! Poaching, maybe, one could imagine! For that very reason bowhunters blast an air horn every time they let loose an arrow… don’t they?

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        And style.

    5. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I have heard multiple times that it WAS added due to poaching. But not the kind of poaching that you think of (shooting wild animals without a license). The NFA was enacted during The Great Depression, which started in earnest in 1929 and was really bad in 1934. Apparently many destitute people were poaching livestock from farmers — shooting cows in the night, etc. At night, with homemade silencers. It was farmers/ranchers and whatever groups they belonged to that apparently pushed for silencers to be added to the NFA. They weren’t a crime problem and I don’t think there was enough of a population or maybe even enough regulation existing around hunting that State or Federal gov’t cared about poaching of wild animals. Hunting can be hard. Killing livestock on a farm is easier.

      I haven’t verified this but it sounds highly plausible and I’ve heard the same story a few times.

    6. avatar me says:

      But where is the law requiring people using a bow or crossbow to shout “BANG” when they shoot? Clearly, bows have no sporting purpose and are only of utility to criminals and assassins…

  3. avatar Tim says:

    Ask Hollywood. People think suppressors actually silence the sound of a gun shot.

    …It must be true I saw it in that James Bond movie.

    In what universe can you compare an air rifle suppressor with that of a firearm?

    1. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

      In nj they do but you could easily argue nj operates in a parallel backwards universe that you have to pay to leave.

    2. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I gotta say, I was out yesterday shooting my CZ with a Liberty Mystic silencer on it and some new 147 grain ammo that I hadn’t shot previously. It was as quiet as the staple gun I was using for my targets. Like, no joke. Literally. The gun shot itself was no louder than dry firing and cycling the slide, and the only other noise was the 9mm slug punching a hole in the plywood down range, which was quieter than I expected. It was almost like a joke.

    3. avatar Dave says:

      Suppressors DO silence the sound of a gunshot. They “suppress” the noise. Hence the name. the popular street name is “silencer”. Some suppressors can reduce the audible noise from a .45 ACP to just over a whisper (and before you say something else that’s wrong – you can purchase these suppressors as well as many others that are not as quiet). In some areas, you are legally required to use a suppressor due to laws on noise pollution.

      You might want to do an internet search, read up on some suppressors, watch some videos and compare sound levels, before stating that they don’t do what they most affirmatively do so well.

      1. avatar me says:

        Hiram Maxim invented them, and he named them “silencers.” “Suppressor” is a latter-day neologism.

      2. avatar Dan says:

        while i have used 22lr silencers which can certainly approach whisper quiet, i have yet to see a 45acp suppressor which could approach anywhere near that. the gas volume is simply too much. you’d need a suppressor the size of a gallon milk jug.

        even integral 45acp suppressors only manage to get them down to around 90db, and a good deal of that is port pop. a 45acp bolt action can get that a bit quieter, but it’s still a far cry from whisper quiet.

  4. avatar pyratemime says:

    I do hope we get this sorted out eventually. As a military member who is subject to forced moves to unfriendly jurisdictions it just isn’t worth the hassel of having to leave a gun muffler or any other NFA item behind with any given move.

    On a related note I like the change of terminology from silencer/suppresor to gun muffler. It takes all the mystique of it being an assassins/paochers/movie villian tool and transforms it into nothing more than an inoquous car part that everyone can relate too. As a word/language geek I approve of us starting to fight back on the terminology and definitions front.

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      +1Pyr really good idea. I lost 10% of hearing and mosf of upper freq due to jet noise exposure in USN back before it was well known. All the old Chiefs and USMC Gunnies were same “What?” .

      Same as the old sixties rockers…

      Do it for the children…

    2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Muffler, filter, it’s all good…
      Muffler because it acts similarly to a car’s muffler…
      Filter because it acts similarly to a noise filter and sometimes people use oil filters for the job…

  5. avatar Ryan says:

    There’s only one reason, and that’s to make gun ownership as unpleasant and difficult as possible. Don’t take it from me, one of my state legislators publicly said so during some hearings last year.

    1. avatar Mario in NH says:

      Consider that the same guy who invented the firearm suppressor also invented the car muffler. They are the same thing. In the UK, car mufflers are often called silencers.

  6. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    Feelings, woo oho oo feelings. It is “felt” that you can silently shoot someone. Same beautiful thinking that an AR can “take down an entire railroad”, Randy

  7. avatar Roger says:

    Short answer… Because it makes the gun look scary.

    1. avatar Fred says:

      It also makes them heavier, longer (therefore less concealable and more unwieldy), often unbalanced, creates more to clean (in both the firearm and suppressor), potentially malfunction more often, and is often ammunition-sensitive where the firearm alone is not. I’m in favor of the option and the benefit of sound reduction for both shooter and bystanders, but it isn’t a magic off-switch for sound. There is more to consider when using a muffler, but the current situation is a clear infringement and hurts gun culture overall.

  8. avatar Matt in MT says:

    It makes perfect sense. In the movies, Ninja assassin bad guys always screw a silencer to the end of their barrel before murdering someone. It is therefore obvious that by restricting these silencers we are stopping untold assassinations.

    All kinds of great legislation comes from Congressmen attending the movies. The “Undetectable Firearms Act” is another perfect example of lifesaving movie legislation.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Well they had to save airline passengers from those toilet bowl GLOCK 7’s.

  9. avatar Capybara says:

    You are correct TIm. I don’t think Hollywood is the reason why silencers were added to the NFA in 1934 but that is definitely the reason why they have stayed regulated. Legislators are dumb enough to actually believe everything Hollywood portrays about guns is possible, that’s why you will soon see “smart gun” legislation. They think, “Good enough for Daniel Craig as James Bond, good enough for the American people”, even though the actual technology doesn’t exist.

    It is a pretty sad state of affairs when the people who make the real laws that really affect people’s real lives take their cues from pure fantasy. But that is the Statist way, if it exists, ban, regulate and tax it, make revenue from it as you slowly constrict it.

    1. avatar Fred says:

      “If you can dream it you can do it, therefore we must legislate it into the ground as soon as you dream it”.

  10. avatar vioshi says:

    There’s a paper on the excessive penalties for suppressor possession crimes, especially related to drugs. They state that the suppressors were added because they were only used by professional assassins, and that someone would commit a crime that otherwise wouldn’t because they wouldn’t be caught.
    Because most people that commit murder generally demonstrate self restraint, and the rest are not smart enough to find a potatoe/pillow. It was passed by a bunch of beurocrats that wouldn’t know a muzzle from a chamber.

  11. avatar Aaron says:

    I wish my neighbors had suppressors – the guys on the other side of the woods seem to like to shoot late at night.

  12. avatar Roll says:

    Anyone else sorta annoyed by ear pro? Gets uncomfortable sometimes, suppressors would be welcome and “polite” as the article stated above.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      True, but ear pro is better than nothing. PA finally made it legal to wear sound amplifying ear pro (AKA electronic ear protection). I consider it the poor man’s muffler/silencer/suppressor/can.

      1. avatar DaveL says:

        PA finally made it legal to wear sound amplifying ear pro (AKA electronic ear protection).

        You mean it was specifically banned by law prior to that? What possible rationale could there be for that?

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          Talk about government intrusion. @_@

        2. avatar mstudley says:

          http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol35/35-3/87.html

          Former regulations specifically prohibited the use of sound amplification devices that completely cover the ears. With the advances in technology, many of the available electronic hearing protection devices now also amplify sound. Former regulations prohibited many of these devices because they could be used to give hunters an unfair advantage. Many of the new hearing protection devices are electronic, enabling the hunter to hear normal conversation but preventing sounds over a certain decibel level from entering the ear. They amplify sound and completely cover the ears. By striking the relevant language in § 141.18, these hearing protection devices were made lawful for use.

  13. avatar Jeff says:

    The UK also treats SBR/SBS as any other long gun.. I have a few AK forum friends that have purchased SBR AKs straight from the factory. Of course they’re straight-pull action and still subject to other ridiculous UK laws, but it’s interesting none the less.

    1. avatar Dan says:

      straight pull dragunovs are the most interesting ones to me.

  14. avatar Peter Duke says:

    Two Words: James Bond. People constantly underestimate the power of American Cinema over the American psyche. Anyone with any experience around firearms understands that “silencing” anything that is using an explosion to launch a projectile is at odds with physics. But that doesn’t stop Hollywood from producing glamorous devices that superheroes like James Bond use to routinely take down bad guys. Politicians, since the political assassinations of the 1960’s, are literally scared to death of the imaginary silenced weapons. Regardless of whether or not they exist, they are scared of the very idea of them. Practical considerations and utility have little to do with the thought processes of frightened demagogues.

    1. avatar Paelorian says:

      The political assassinations of the 1960s, every single one committed without a sound suppressor.

      Imagine how much worse it would have been if those deranged assassins had screwed a suppressor onto the handgun they fired from ten feet away! In most assassinations, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. It’s usually some wackjob point-blank from a crowd, or otherwise pretty close range and it would likely still be immediately obvious with a rifle round at any range where it came from. It wouldn’t have made Oswald’s bullets any deadlier, and he still would have been immediately located, etc., etc., etc. And if they’re firing from any range, a murderer can still escape even if the gunshots are loud, as in the case of the Washington, D.C. “sniper”.

  15. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The National Firearms Act of 1934 was another knee-jerk attempt by the Democrats (who swept into power after the election of 1932) to ban guns. They were originally going to include handguns in the NFA, but this was amended out of the final bill.

    It isn’t so much “what is wrong with silencers/suppressors?” that’s the cause of them being included in the NFA ’34. The issue is that the authors of the NFA ’34 viewed only “legit long guns” (“sporting arms”) as being what the mere citizens could own, and everything else was going to be subject to the tax stamp. Before NFA ’34, Thompsons were marketed to farmers and ranchers, sawed off shotguns were quite common, etc. There’s nothing new under the sun folks. The Democrats have been the party of anti-gun zealots since they lost the Civil War.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      Good point.

  16. avatar Johannes says:

    Here in Sweden there’s a strong separation between hunting and sporting when it comes to licenses. It’s easy to get a purchase permit for a suppressor for your hunting rifle (less hassle for loud guns, harder for .22), you just motivate it with hearing protection. Getting the same permit for a sporting gun is almost impossible. Silly enough, there’s no regulations on use, only ownership, so you’re free to put your hunting suppressor on your sporting guns.

  17. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Like Mr. Weingarten, I don’t know what the original evil was that they were trying to combat with silencer bans. The bans pre-date cheezy 1980s T.V. crime dramas with silenced pistol-packing assassins sneaking about. So that isn’t the inspiration.

    If it really is an anti-crime measure, it’s just silly. For starters, don’t the gun grabbers always fret that the typical gun owner will just *snap* and go shoot someone? So how does that hysterical hypothetical square with the notion that silencers are additional equipment at additionsl expense, which would reflect some degree of pre-meditation on the shooter’s part? Who snaps in slow motion and goes and gets a silencer?

    Beyond that, there already are guns that are fairly quiet. The Mossad uses .22lr pistols up close and personal to achieve their objectives and manages to get away unnoticed. Your basic $150 rifle in .22lr is very quiet, too, even standing nearby. At a range of 400 yards, such a rifle can put a bullet through an inch thick board of pine. That’s a million miles away and more than sufficient to penetrate a skull. Nobody would even know what happened, let alone have heard anything, before the killer was gone.

    So anything crime related seems a sorry excuse for banning silencers. The abundant legitimate reasons for allowing them certainly outweigh whatever silly assassin scenarios the anti’s can dream up.

    1. avatar Meridia says:

      I’m sorry, a .22 isn’t exactly quiet.

      Quieter than larger guns, yes. Quiet? No. It has a higher pitch to the “crack” it makes, and it’s rendered me some temporary hearing loss, so I’m assuming you’re referring to a .22 with earplugs in?

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I’m referring to a .22lr relative to typical street noises and from the perspective of potential witnesses, not a sensory deprivation chamber and from the shooter’s proximity to the muzzle. In that context, it would go either unheard or unremarkable.

      The proof? Even much louder firearms like AR’s and shotguns are often mistaken for other sounds, if they’re heard at all, in spree shootings.

  18. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    Well, reading the court reasoning in both Heller and McDonald (both appelate and SCOTUS) they refer to the constitution preserving the right that colonsists already had under English law under the new government.

    So, I’m not knowledgeable on the history of suppressors/silencers. Did they exist in colonial times and were the general population precluded from owning them? If so, would be an argument that restrictions are constitutional.

    If not, well, the rulings referred to rights continuing to exist even as technology changes. That is, free speech applies to internet, radio, TV, smartphones, etc. even though the technologies were unknown to the founders. So, 2A right is not limited to the types of firearms available in colonial times, the right extends to modern firearms in common use. (Future courts will probably struggle over ‘common use’. Common use by militaries? Or by civilians in the US? Or by civilians world-wide? etc. etc.) So, I would think you could argue that suppressors are just like other technological innovations and should be covered by 2a. Just like 4th amendment applies to protection from search by thermal imaging without an underlying justification of a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law by the subject.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The first silencer/suppressor that I know of was the one of Hiram Percy Maxim, (he of Maxim machine gun fame as well). I think the patent date was 1909 or some such.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I checked; the patent date is 1909. They were sold earlier than that, so the actual physical device pre-dates the patent by several years.

      1. avatar foggy says:

        He was actually the son of Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, the inventor of the Maxim machine gun.

  19. avatar Gyufygy says:

    140dB is not freaking quiet. It’s barely hearing safe, and it’s probably uncomfortable to most people. Start getting that through peoples’ skulls, and we might, MIGHT get somewhere.

    1. avatar Paelorian says:

      Actually, 140dB is not hearing safe. Not even close. The U.S. Department of Health/Dept of Health/NIOSH/OSHA allows less than one second daily workplace exposure to noise above 130dB, and 140dB is 10x as bad for your hearing as 130dB. No centerfire round is hearing-safe, not .45ACP, 147gr 9mm, subsonic 300 AAC Blackout or 5.7x28mm. Over 111dB you have only seconds of exposure permitted daily, not minutes. Suppressed .22LR, especially from a manual action, I consider hearing safe. But probably not if you listened to full-auto .22LR fire all day.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        I believe that since the peak noise of gunshots is the barest fraction of a second, 140dB is generally considered the “hearing safe” threshold silencer manufacturers aim for. Lower is of course better. I’m not an audiologist nor a silencer manufacturer, though, so it’s worth what you paid for.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Preach it, Brother.

        I’m a walking example of why 140dB isn’t safe. I’m a walking example of why 90dB isn’t “safe.”

        I will never hear silence again… unless I eventually go profoundly deaf. Every day I hear ringing like I’m Quasimoto – some days worse than others. It wasn’t directly brought on by gunshots, but by cumulative exposure to loud noises – angle grinders, machinery, running tractors with the cab roof open, etc. Many of these noises sources weren’t anywhere as loud as a gunshot – they were in the 95 to 105dB range. TIG welding on aluminum, for example – might not seem that loud to look at it once. Put a dosimeter up next to you ear and you find out that it’s running about 100+ dB at your ears, just at a low frequency (120Hz), that’s all. Plenty loud enough to cause hearing loss when you’re doing it for hours on end.

        140dB is the e-ticket way to go deaf. 90+dB will do the same thing, just over a period of hours.

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          Good to know.

    2. avatar Dan says:

      and i wish ttag would stop parroting ridiculous claims from manufacturers on how their silencer renders 5.56 as “hearing safe”.

      no supersonic projectile is hearing safe, period.

      even suppressed supersonic 22lr will permanently damage your hearing.

  20. avatar Meridia says:

    Why silencers are illegal:

    Too many idiots watched too many movies and think a silencer suddenly makes a .50 BMG sound like a little “thwif”.

    Yeah.

  21. avatar Crunkleross says:

    I believe it is almost entirely based on movies and television where it was common for the murderer to screw a one inch long suppressor onto his revolver prior to killing some innocent person. That act of attaching the suppressor was added drama and tension. Pretty much the same with machine guns too, gangster hanging on the window of a speeding car hosing down everything within 10 blocks, another exaggeration for dramatic effect. Whether it was unintended consequences or not it shaped the public’s view of such things. When I was a kid a person was looked on with suspicion if they had a snub nose revolver much less carried one. In fact in some circles handguns were just for pimps, murderers, and crooks, well and the police of course.

    Hollywood has been screwing us for a long time.

  22. avatar JeffR says:

    Here’s an interesting law review article on silencers/supressors/mufflers. I am sure Dean has read it. Basically, seconds what Dean said. No one knows quite why silencers were included in the Firearms Act. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwcr.sonoma.edu%2Fv08n2%2F44.clark%2Fclark.pdf&ei=td7vUq2oLvPJsQTW34IQ&usg=AFQjCNHycooxoveDJ7T0kZsdp9hYsT59xA&bvm=bv.60444564,d.cWc

    1. Thanks for the link. A preliminary review looks very good. I have not read it before.

      Not surprising that independent research and thought reached the same conclusion.

  23. avatar APBTFan says:

    I’m still a fan of Inspector Sledge Hammer’s home made “loudener”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WKM9GDuX0Y

    1. avatar me says:

      According to some sources, the muzzle brakes the Hungarians put on their 7.62x39mm version of the AKSU-74 was designed with a secondary purpose of making the gunshots seem louder, for purposes of intimidation. You’ve seen them, they have two large circular holes in each side and were for a brief time popular on Hungarian AK builds.

      Most muzzle brakes do appear to amplify the gunshot sound at least a little, particularly those designs incorporating baffles and side vents. The old Bushmaster “Y-Compensator” is especially obnoxious.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    “What is the purpose of making them so hard to obtain or own?”

    I’d imagine the same reasons the government and certain people want guns to be hard to obtain. Fear, ignorance…

  25. avatar A samurai says:

    Gun Laws in here in America are written by idiots who know nothing about the technology they try to legislate over. Look at the numerous statements politicians have made to prove it, The senator in California’s now infamous press conference about “ghost guns” that fire “30 round 30 caliber clips in a half a second”. The senator who said “I know what a barrel shroud is, it’s that shoulder thing that goes down.” The Colorado state senator who said (its good we banned 30 round mags because), “these magazines are bullets and once they are all used up no one will have them anymore.” The list goes on…

    We (people of this nation) have elected complete morons to run the nut house. Is it any wonder that chairs are illegal, the sky is green, and grass is purple?

  26. avatar Martin B says:

    Here in New Zealand we have a free and easy attitude to silencers, it makes shooting rabbits and possums (both considerable agricultural pests) both simpler and more comfortable.

    If anyone needs silencers, it’s Americans. Due to the TV shows we are forced to watch since our local TV producers are too broke to make their own, we are exposed to loud Americans braying and shouting at each other endlessly. The civilized conduct of conversation need not involve a competition over who can make the most noise. I suggest the best idea wins. If in doubt, refer to Shakespeare (It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing).

    Can we please all agree to make less noise in future?

    1. I am always interested in firearms law in other countries. Are suppressors just another commodity in New Zealand, easily available over the counter? Do you have to be a licensed firearms owner to buy one? Are they easier to obtain than ammunition or optical sights?

      As for your suggestion, most Americans would love to take it. Unfortunately, a British reject, AKA Piers Morgan, necessitates that we reply in kind. Thanks in advance for answers to my questions.

  27. avatar Porterhaus says:

    I’m fairly certain that suppressors are illegal because people have been convinced that they somehow make you untouchable in a murder case because there’s no fire report. That’s what a lot of TV shows and movies have been convincing people of. When, in reality, all they’ll do is protect hearing and make the gun easier to shoot. I feel like if you tried bringing that up to antifun lobbyists they’d start talking about how guns should be hard to shoot and a suppressor should stay banned so people with minimal training can’t go out and shoot people.
    Personally, I’d LOVE to have a suppressor on an HD gun or just to play with on a .22 at the range, but I live in Minnesota which makes them impossible for me to get. It’s such a bizarre stigma that hurts a lot of people. I’m pretty positive that if suppressors were more legal, my tinnitus wouldn’t be anywhere NEAR as bad as it is. But, as it stands, if I want that I need to break the law. Doesn’t sound like a very good idea to me.

    1. You make a good case as to why they are considered illegitimate *now*. But why were they included in the law 80 years ago? Teddy Roosevelt had one for his 30-30 model 94!

      Franklin Roosevelt was a tyrant of the first order. He ran roughshod over the Constitution and the rule of law.

  28. avatar Rob Murray says:

    In New Zealand, suppressors, ammunition and hunting rifles/shotguns can be purchased “across the counter” at gun shops by licenced firearm owners. (Show your licence, pay your money and take the item.)
    There is a thriving industry catering to the needs of hunters that want to add a suppressor to their rifle… and you pay top dollar for some of those versions. Google “suppressors nz”.
    Most see the benefit of not needing hearing protection while hunting and suppressors are commenplace.

    The main difference in our laws is probably more of a cultural thing… we are not big on “home defence” or gearing up to survive, our weapons are mostly for recreational purposes and predominantly hunting rifles and shotguns. We don’t get around shooting each other up on a regular basis (no offense intended, but your goverment would probably lighten up a bit if you’all stopped shooting the crap out of each other)

    Getting an endorsement on your licence for pistols requires time (months) to be spent at a pistol club, endorsements from the club etc. Pistols can only be used on a gazetted range, with loss of license the probable outcome if found to be carrying it without a reason.
    (I can think of only one crime where a suppressor was alleged to have been used. 2 people shot with a pistol in a multistoried office block, no one heard the shots)

    I consider having a firearms licence to be a huge privilege… one that I don’t want to lose.
    Given that here in NZ, the chance of someone entering my property to cause my family and I harm is quite low, my weapons are stored away from the main house, accessible through 4 locked doors, with a padlocked chain thorough all the trigger guards, ammunition locked away elsewhere, bolts stored in a third location… I’ve deliberately made getting a gun and shooting an intruder will be in the “to hard” basket. I’ll go for a kitchen knife instead.
    Yes… I do have a BIG kitchen knife 🙂
    Hopefully the cops won’t take my firearms licence away.

    Regards
    Rob

    Re

  29. avatar Norm Lane says:

    Half of all the shootings are suicides. I happen to think we own our own bodies and have a right to take a quick exit if we feel the need.

    “shooting the crap out of each other” is pretty much restricted to inner city war zones, although I did run off a burglar one night by offering to blow his head off.

    It’s probably all the hobbits and fairies that are making NZ so peaceful.

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