The main argument gun control advocates use against removing silencers from the National Firearms Act: witnesses wouldn’t hear gunshots during a crime. Criminals could use stealth to get away with their firearms-related crimes. This is simply not true.
For one thing, the screams and carnage created by a firearm during a crime is pretty easy to hear. And see. For another, in the main, silencers don’t operate like they do in Hollywood. There is no pffft. It’s still a bang.
But don’t take my word for it. Check this out from Ralph Clark, the chief executive of ShotSpotter, quoted in The Washington Post’s fact checker column (no less).
“In regard to gun silencers, it is more accurate to call them suppressors, as they suppress the impulsive sound of gunfire, not wholly eliminate it,” said Ralph Clark, the chief executive of ShotSpotter. “We have successfully if not inadvertently detected confirmed suppressed gunfire within our existing deployments. Although we have not formally tested the theoretical impact to our system, we intend to do some targeted testing in the near future. We believe we will have various options ranging from increasing our sensor array density to developing software/firmware to address the detection of suppressed gunfire if it were to become a widespread issue.”
If a silencer-equipped firearms is loud enough for ShotSpotter’s detection system (without modification) they’re loud enough to the human ear to detect.
Which is why the virulently anti-gun, anti-suppressor WaPo gave Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Tweet “When someone gets shot by a gun with a silencer, it’s quiet. Witnesses might not hear. Police will be less likely to track down the shooter.” three-out-of-four Pinnochios. According to their guidelines, that means it contains “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”
Will that stop the antis from continuing to use this argument against suppressors/silencers? It will not. Which tells you something you already knew, that needs saying nonetheless.