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The civilian disarmament industrial complex is deeply opposed to the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. As the bill heads to the House floor for a vote, gun control advocates are busy attacking the provision de-regulating suppressors. On what basis, you ask? Public safety of course! The problem being . . .

Suppressors are not a threat to public safety. How do we know this? Because the antis only have one real-world example of a criminal using a suppressor: the strange case of Christopher Dorner, the LA cop who used illegally purchased silencers whilst murdering brother officers.

A case that proves that current onerous federal regulations for legal silencer purchases — which the antis want to maintain — don’t work.

Granted, the Dorner case is anecdotal evidence. Or, if you prefer, a lack of anecdotal evidence.

So the good folks at The Trace (yes, them again) decided to unearth some suppressor facts to bolster the thinly-veiled argument against the SHARE Act contained in their post If Silencers Become Easier to Own, Will More Get Stolen by Criminals?

There are now more that 1.3 million of them registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, up from about 360,000 just five years ago.  There’s also evidence to suggest that as silencers have gained a foothold with gun owners, some are winding up in the black market . . .

One state that has provided particularly extensive records on stolen guns is Florida. There, at least 94 silencers were reported stolen from 2010 to 2016, our data shows.

The Doral Police Department, near Miami, recorded three stolen silencers. In May 2012, thieves snatched two of the devices at once, both designed for .45 pistols. In January 2015, a SilencerCo 9mm silencer was reported stolen.

Tampa reported three stolen silencers. Two were taken on the same night in June 2010, a Gemtech .45 and an AA Arms rifle silencer. The third was for an AR-style rifle, reported stolen in October 2012.

As stores stock more silencers, they get snatched from shelves and display cases, too. Nationwide, 52 silencers were reported stolen by licensed dealers in 2016, according to the ATF. Two hundred more were reported lost.

It’s not surprising that as the number of silencers in civilian hands has jumped, criminals are also getting their hands on the devices.

What IS surprising . . .

With 1.3 million suppressors in the wild, with 94 silencers reported stolen (over six years) in Florida, with violent crimes up nationally by 4.1 percent and homicides up by 8.6 percent, where are examples of criminals using silencers?

“As for silencers seldom being used [by criminals],” The Trace’s cousins at opine, “that’s because federal law prevents criminals from buying them.”

Hello? Criminals don’t obey laws.

If a bad guy wanted to use a suppressed firearm to commit a crime, he’d do so, regardless of federal regulations. Criminals don’t use suppressed firearms because suppressors make guns harder to conceal for no apparent benefit; they know that Hollywood’s depiction of super-silent suppressed firearms is pure fantasy.

Even if real world bad guys realized that a suppressed .22 caliber AR or handgun is pretty damn quiet and did use a suppressed firearm in the commission of a crime, Uncle Sam’s suppressor sales related fees, paperwork and delay are a 2A-prohibited  infringement on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.

A fact The Trace and its ilk steadfastly refuse to acknowledge or consider. I wonder why . . .

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  1. Regarding the yellow symbols painted on the top of that ammo can – I picked up some surplus cans with similar marking.

    Who can tell me what they mean?

    • If memory serves the square with a notch cut out on it indicates ammo packed in cartons, or a cardboard sleeve. The other symbol indicates a ball and tracer mix, or more likely packed on strippers…..I think. It’s been a long time…..surely someone with more recent experience can chime in.

    • Each symbol has it’s own meaning.

      I may be misremembering this but…

      The square with the notch removed tells you that what’s in the box is packaged in bandoleers. For 5.56 meant for an M4/16 this means that the stuff in the box is packaged as stripper clips that are packed into bandoleers so that when you pick up a “package” you’re getting a set of sleeves on a sling that contain ammo on strippers packed into little cardboard boxes that hold three strippers each (30 rounds/box).

      It looks like this:–bandolier-of-tracer-ammo-lake-city-120-rds–local-sale-only

      The dot and line marking means that the ammo is linked, in this case by strippers. Other markings would indicate that the line/dot marking mean it’s belted for use in an MG.

  2. Criminals use handguns because they are concealable. If they cared about accuracy, firepower or lethality, they’d use shotgins and rifles. Suppressors make handguns considerably less concealable by adding 4-8 inches to the length, unless it something like a Maxim 9. There’s a detriment for no gain. Criminals don’t care about their hearing, and they usually aren’t even planning to fire the gun. If they really want to kill someone and do it quietly, they’ll strangle, stab, bludgeon, etc.

    • Also, their typical “Saturday night specials” don’t have threaded barrels, hi points, Jimenez…

      A criminal who wants or needs a surpressor can already build or buy one on the black market, same as machine guns.

      With silencers considered firearms prohibited people will still be prohibited from having them. It just won’t take a year to find out.

      And the “we can’t let you own something nice, a criminal might steal it” is a stupid argument. It must be a wealth redistribution plan. No one can have anything better or if value, so that everyone can be equally impoverished. Then only the government and whoever they deem worthy can rise above the masses of the common man.

    • I’ve known folk who do their extralegal* hunting with bows. Seems a whole lot quieter and easier to acquire.

      *before anyone jumps me, I’m referring to certain good ol boys I know who kill feral hogs in places like golf courses where it’s not technically legal.

    • Bows and arrows, crossbows, javelins, traps…

      All are just as deadly, more silent, and can be owned by anyone regardless of age or criminal history….

  3. If federal law prevents silencer purchases by criminals and thereby is responsible for a very low rate of criminal usage why don’t the federal laws preventing them from buying guns do the same thing?

    Perhaps there’s more at play here than just “The Law”?

    • Now that there is a colossal example of a contradiction!

      Remember, Progressives (which include gun-grabbers) simply want what they want without any facts or reason. Therefore, they vomit words hoping that something eventually sticks. They do not care if their justification is irrational or contradicts itself or other known facts. All they care about is getting buy-in.

    • “If federal law prevents silencer purchases by criminals and thereby is responsible for a very low rate of criminal usage why don’t the federal laws preventing them from buying guns do the same thing?”

      Be *very* careful with that line of thought, Strych.

      Imagine the near future where a Progressive biased SCOTUS controls the the Court and nullifies Heller, et. all.

      Now imagine a Progressive administration, fueled by Heller being tossed in the dustbin, that makes it law that *all* firearms of any type whatsoever are added to the 1934 NFA tax scheme.

      All the while smiling through their lying teeth while proclaiming they “Support the 2nd Amendment”.

      Chilling thought, no?

      • Considering that the original NFA covered all pistols and revolvers…

        Had that tidbit been kept in the current firearms landscape would be a touch different, no?

        • “Had that tidbit been kept in the current firearms landscape would be a touch different, no?”

          Oh, yeah.

          We dodged the metaphorical bullet on that. *shudder*

          (For now, anyways.)

          I wonder what pressure was applied on them at the time to exclude it…

        • Geoff PR

          Pressure came from the President of the NRA as well as the fact handguns were quite common back then as they are today so to enact such a law would criminalize millions of Americans.

          Even supporters of the law admitted it would have no effect on crime. It was merely a quicker way to arrest criminals who obtained “super deadly” weapons without getting the proper paperwork. A sort of pre-crime bill.

        • We actually didn’t dodge that bullet. The handgun ban is why SBR and SBS are NFA regulated. They “forgot” to drop that language when they decided pistols were permitted.

    • Why would anyone be surprised by the criminal culture’s failure to adopt silencers wholesale? Federal law adds a 30-year sentence if a silencer is used in the commission of a crime.

      • All the more reason they shouldn’t be restricted for those of us not committing crimes. If the existing penalty structure works to limit criminal use then the supply is not a determining factor in criminal use. Win-Win: criminals don’t do crime, law abiding citizens don’t suffer infringement.

  4. Because everybody knows crime was much worse in 1917 than it is in 2017, and it’s all due to the NFA.

    I’ve heard that during WWI, nearly 10% of Chicago residents had to lock their doors at night…glad that doesn’t happen now…

  5. Any word on how the vote looks at this point?

    Meaning, it may indicate the possibility of some form of 50 state carry passing…

  6. Thieves steal silencers because they are worth a lot of money. Doh. Thieves do not appear to be using them to commit crimes, nor do the buyers on the black market appear to be doing so either. Or it would have made the news, right? Or been reported by the Trace. The mere fact that BGs are “getting their hands on” silencers, standing alone, means squat, especially since there are a huge number of them out there WITH all of the onerous federal regulations.

  7. Don’t forget to mention that a suppressor/silencer is extremely easy to make, with single-use/disposable units being made in 15 minutes using simply a liter soda bottle, steel wool and a stick to poke a hole through the centerline – although the latter is really only necessary for longer-range shots. In fact, the steel wool can be replaced with shaving cream, which works just fine by filling a paper towel tube with Barbasol. If a handy McGiver-type has the need and the will, there will always be a way to make guns and the accessories that make humans more lethal – regardless of any law written by a foolish society.

    • Anyone remember in “Under Siege” (the only Steven Segal movie that wasn’t a raging dumpster fire) where he makes the supressor out of the 2-liter bottle and duck tape? Thought it was just movies lying to me at the time, but it’s actually rather effective.

  8. If there are 3x more silencers in circulation in the last 5 years, and increase in silencer availbility=increase in silencer use in crime, then there should be a corresponding 3x increase in the last 5 years on crimes committed using silencers. Surely the Trace has solid research backing up their position.

    Simple math.

  9. Because doing things like duct taping a 2L bottle to a .22, or using sections of a potato (dead serious, saw it on cops once) never happen. Or hell, for that matter the idea that some washers, freeze plugs and a mag lite with time and epoxy couldn’t be made into something a bit more permanent if so inclined. This also wholly ignores the fact that if they were desirable to criminals they would be imported from Mexico like anything else of value would be. They’d probably be stuffed with blow for the trip over, and would be twofor at that point.

  10. On top of all thst shite, we have our own in our midst pishing back, as it commoditizes tax-stamped ATF items.

    Never is that more true than with wealthy MFs working tirelously to keep post 1986 full auto weapons off the transferable rolls because it’ll affect the value of the tens or hundreds of them that they own. It makes gun-grabbers happy because they love the class disparity, and therefore tension, it builds into such ownership.

    • “with wealthy MFs working tirelously to keep post 1986 full auto weapons off the transferable rolls”

      I know some of those wealthy MFs, and they are working tirelessly to open the registry to post ’86 full auto guns. Every single one of them. Why? So they can buy more, which they would dearly love to do.

      Maybe you just don’t know the right wealthy MFs. Or maybe you don’t know any.

      • The truth is that no matter how great an AR or an MP5 is the world has moved on from 3 decades ago. There are firearms that they would love to have full auto they simply can not at virtually any price legally. Sure you may have a few as investors but a ton of them are owned by people who want to shoot them.

  11. The myth of suppressor crime defies any logical litmus test. Guns are illegal and we have gun crime. Supressors are not illegal yet crimes are nearly non-existent despite plans for their non-government regulated construction existing literally everywhere.

  12. “they know that Hollywood’s depiction of super-silent suppressed firearms is pure fantasy.”

    We generally assume that the public doesn’t know how loud a suppressor is. We also generally assume that criminals aren’t very bright. I think this statement is a bit of a stretch.

  13. There is a path to suppressors if you really want one and are legally allowed to own one and their use makes the police’s job harder. There’s no logic to making it easier to get these. I’m an Army vet, have my LTC/CHL and own as many guns as my safe can hold so I’m no snowflake. But this bill does nothing to make anyone safer, it makes LE’s job harder and just puts more of these things on the streets. I’ve got no problem with the law as it stands now.


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