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 bloomberg.com 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 . . .