Saturday, April 21, 2012

Silencers Make Sense - Cars Without Mufflers Are Illegal, Why Aren't Guns Without Silencers Legal?

Silencers for guns are completely legal, but heavily regulated and highly expensive in the United States. It doesn't make much sense - driving a car without a muffler is illegal. So why would any government make it hard to use a safety device that protects one of your most useful senses - hearing?

Much of the blame goes to the hysteria about gangsters in the 1930's. A piece of legislation, the National Firearms Act of 1934 made owning any sort of firearm or firearm accessory associated with gangsters almost impossible by putting the current equivalent of a $3,200 dollar tax on it. The right to keep and bear firearms is protected by the second amendment, so outright bans were considered legally problematic, so a tax that would put such things out of the reach of ordinary citizens was used instead. The 1934 NFA eventually did fail a legal challenge and was voided and replaced by the 1968 NFA.

In short, short barreled rifles and shotguns, machine guns and silencers are still considered, in this day and age, to be 'gangster paraphernalia'. Everything but silencers is an argument for another day.

Much of the old gun control laws are falling by the wayside - look at the fact that concealed carry is legal in almost every state now, instead of just a handful as it was but a few decades ago. The laws on silencers should be re-examined as well.

Their use as a safety device far outweighs any negative stigma. To be honest, a silencer doesn't make a gun silent, despite what you may see in the movies. Much like a muffler on your car doesn't make it impossible to hear the car, the same is true for any gun. Other parts of the world have much more common sense approaches to silencers - they don't have any laws against them.

Would you ban this or require its use?

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