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“(D)espite their relative proliferation, few crimes are committed with (suppressors). BATFE says in the past 10 years it has prosecuted around 44 cases a year, with only six of the cases being committed by people with prior felony convictions. Noting the lack of criminality associated with silencers, the law-enforcement agency said ‘they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety.'” – Rich Duprey in Smith & Wesson Is Ready to Make Some Noise in Gun Silencers [via]

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  1. Wait… Did the ATF just come out on our side for once? Isn’t this a sign that the Four Horsemen are riding?

    • You should ready the whitepaper from R. Turk back in January… this doesn’t surprise me. The entire runup of 2017’s ideas on policy is outstanding.

      They don’t want to be forcefully defunded, so they’re changing tactics to being like this instead. If they change things of their own will, no mechanism will be put in place to force them to do so, meaning in the future they can go back to the old ways.

      • I feel like at some point during that meeting someone had to have said “we’ve got to protect our phoney-bologna jobs, gentlemen!”

      • Turk’s paper was clearly an intentionally leaked (nobody has access to documents from the acting director’s office and chooses to leak this of all things) job application (“Make me director and I’ll support this stuff. Honest!”) for a job he is never getting after his subpena shenanigans. This is pretty clearly one of the seven seals opening.

  2. Were those prosecutions for the crime of just possessing a silencer/suppressor or actually committing a crime with the use of one??

    • The way it reads, 440 over ten years were prosecuted for unregistered silencers, with a total of six of those being for criminal use of same. That’s… not even a statistical blip.

      • Yes, that’s what the media misses on this topic. Those 44 criminal acts with a suppressor each year are like 99.5% unregistered possession or manufacturing or some other violation of the ownership or usage laws and NOT any sort of crime that involves any sort of victim…

  3. If you took the muffler off your lawn mower, and mowed your lawn, your neighbors would call the police on you. If you put that muffler on your firearm, your neighbors would call the police on you. Both of these are probably punishable in most places. Huh !

    • Hrrm, we have the oil filter adapters, wonder if this could be a new trend. I could see certain models being very easily adapted.

      • Don’t they make oil filter adapters/silencers that have to be registered currently? I see those being the real winners of the HPA; I’d imagine those are easier to manufacture than a full can.

        • Those adapters (aka “solvent traps”) are illegal. Either here or on TFB a while back, there was an article with an opinion by BATF confirming their illegality. People have been arrested for making/selling them. I’d bet if you bought one on ebay for $10, your name is already on a list of “questionable” citizens.

      • If/when we get suppressors off the NFA registry, then I think the idea of disposable silencers could take off.

        I mean, they tend to load up with carbon, and who wants to clean those things, anyway? Make them disposable, like a fuel filter. Sell them for $5.00 apiece or $50.00 for a “contractor pack” of a dozen.

        You heard it here first!

        • I have thought the same thing. You could 3d print the adapter or buy it off/at ebay, Dick’s, etc. for a few dollars like any gun part. Oil filters can be had for under 10 USD. It would be crazy cheap.

          Just thinking out load but if you could drain an old filter completely (not just sure you could ever “completely” do so) it might work (theoretically) better than an unused one. I could see the oil working alot like the wet gel for suppressors. Anyone with experience want to sound in?

  4. What shrill hysterical arguments from those in the gun control industry? I haven’t been able to hear their incessant whining over the ringing in my hears caused by my last range trip.

  5. This might be the first time I’ve ever seen a government agency refer to something within their purview to regulate as not being a threat to public safety. Almost always, whether it’s a bumpfire stock or an imported peach, whichever agency is in charge of regulating it will insist they’re the only ones keeping that thing from drowning your puppy and giving you cancer.

  6. One could argue that the only reason crimes are so low is because they are so heavily regulated. Once they are mainstream and they are more available, crimes will skyrocket.

    • One could certainly argue that, if there were an associated increase in crime from this growth in ownership over the last nine years (from the linked article):

      “In 2008, there were only 18,000 silencers registered with BATFE; at the end of 2016 there were almost 903,000, and within the first few months of 2017, the number had grown to nearly 1.3 million.”

      440 crimes for unregistered possession, and six criminal uses, in the same time ownership went from about 18k to 1.3 million. Doesn’t seem like there’s a problem in any way, shape, or form.

    • Devil’s Advocate,

      The numbers that we have: people apparently used firearm suppressors 6 times to facilitate an attack in the last 10 years. Call that roughly one attack every two years for easy math. And during that time, roughly 500,000 people on average owned registered suppressors each year. Even if we assume that the perpetrators used registered suppressors in every attack (which is almost certainly NOT true), that means we should expect at most 1 person of every 1 million registered suppressor owners to use their registered suppressor to attack someone each year.
      That is truly a minuscule number and a minuscule rate.

      Furthermore, we have to consider how many of those attacks would have happened anyway even without a suppressor. Common sense says that all of them would have happened anyway. Think about it: some nasty dude commits himself to shoot someone who “disrespected” him, grabs a handgun, goes over to shoot the “offender”, and says, “Oh, I don’t have a suppressor so I cannot shoot my offender. I guess I’ll just pistol-whip him instead.” Nope. If a person is committed to murder someone, whether or not they have a suppressor does not matter.

      If an argument of social utility were relevant, the argument that we should be investigating is whether or not common suppressor availability would cause attacks that would NOT HAVE HAPPENED OTHERWISE.

      Alas, arguments of social utility have no merit anyway: I demand my natural right to possess the most effective tools available to preserve the life and property of myself and my family. Whether or not some other person would use such tools to attack others is no reason to sentence me or my family to loss of property, serious injury, or death.

  7. These suppressor crimes are most likely regulatory crimes of failure to register via form 1 or illegal possession. F&@$ the NFA. I have yet to see any hitman with a suppressor articles in the news.

    • I have yet to see any hitman with a suppressor articles in the news.


      Furthermore, we should not expect to ever see such articles: if a hitman is any good at all, police will never discover who murdered the victim … at least not through suppressor possession and/or ownership records anyway.

      • Ya, if you’re going to investigate gun murders, you ought to have already dug a little deeper into dead Clinton associates / related incidents. Solve those before you go on “protecting” us from suppressors or anything else.

    • As stated in the article, of the 440 crimes involving silencers, six were used in criminal activity and not simply possessed/manufactured without paying the tax. Over ten years and with massively increased ownership, that’s hardly crime worth mentioning.

    • Assuming they exist, a real hitman wouldn’t be in the news in the first place.

  8. If suppressors were so useful in the commission of crimes, criminals would use them. The fact that they’re hard to get has nothing to do with it. You can make one from stuff you can buy at Home Depot. Or just use a Fram oil filter.

  9. Unfortunately, the truth is no defense in the empire of lies. The Republicans know they can do nothing because of the Democrat threat.

  10. “Not a threat to public safety” but still regulated. It’s as if the point of the regulation is something other than public safety.

    OK, I’ll stop talking crazy.

  11. It amuses me too so degree that if I put an aftermarket muffler on my bike the law says Johnny Law can ticket me if that muffler is even 1dB louder than the stock muffler. (Yet Harley riders get a pass on their window rattling pipes because those are stock.)

    OTOH, while it’s never happened, if I screw a can on one of my guns they can pull a “papers please” routine on me. In Colorado that approved Form 4 is the only thing between me and a nasty legal problem, yet the ATF doesn’t even want to regulate the darn things.

    It’s a mad, mad, mad world.

    • “It’s a mad, mad, mad world.”

      Close, but you missed a ‘mad’.

      “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963)

  12. I even heard a realistic review of “silencers” on NPR. It was framed within the store of how the USMC may make them standard issue for all Marines, but the information and portrayal of “silencers” was way better than the typical Hollywood BS. They basically said, supressors reduce the noice of gun fire from permanently-damaging loud by 30dB to a mere uncomfortably loud that is still nowhere near quiet, while also smoothing out the damaging spike in sound from gunfire that causes long-term damage. When I heard that on NPR, I was shocked that the portrayal was anything but “silencers are evil.”

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