This week, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) rammed a searing hot poker right into the collective eye of gun owners with her vow to squelch efforts to enact the much anticipated Hearing Protection Act (HPA).
The HPA would remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act, thus streamlining the buying process while also making them more affordable. HPA would mean no CLEO sign-off (for state’s that require it), no registration, no paperwork, no $200 tax stamp. Versions of HPA have been introduced in both the House and Senate.
“Law enforcement already has a hard enough job putting their lives on the line every day to stop gun violence in our communities,” said Sen. Gillibrand in a statement.
“We can’t make it more dangerous and more difficult by making it easier for criminals to obtain deadly gun silencers,” continued Gillibrand. “These deadly gun silencers pose a huge risk to our enforcement and our communities and I will do everything I can to stop this ill-thought-out legislation that would allow more criminals to get their hands on these dangerous weapons.”
Gillibrand is joined by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who also touted the putative dangers of suppressors — despite the fact that they’re outlawed in the Empire State and would remain so even if HPA were to be signed into law.
“Gang takedowns and innovative technology have been critical to the NYPD’s efforts to seize guns off our streets and drive violent crime to historic lows. Dangerous gun silencers stymie these effective tactics,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“We need stricter gun laws, not a rollback to the lax laws of the bad old days,” said de Blasio. “I stand with Senator Gillibrand, law enforcement officials and gun violence prevention advocates in keeping gun silencers out of the hands of criminals.”
The fear-mongering is in overdrive with these two! Both Gillibrand and de Blasio are talking outta their butts (“deadly gun silencers,” give me a break! There’s nothing lethal about a suppressor!). Suppressors are rarely used in crimes. Maybe 30-40 cases a year out of 75-80,000 federal criminal prosecutions, according to a study by the Western Criminology Review.
Moreover, the suggestion that technology that triangulates gunfire, i.e. Shot Spotter, in urban areas would be neutralized by the use of suppressors is unfounded. In fact, one article syndicated by Shot Spotter, states clearly that so long as the sound signature of suppressed gunfire is entered into the scanner database, the technology should work just fine.
Just as those who cried that the sky would fall with the expansion of concealed carry laws were wrong, Gillibrand and de Blasio are wrong for arguing that widespread suppressor use poses a threat to public safety. There’s no evidence to suggest that’s the case.
Can you imagine if we allowed a criminal with a gun in New York City to attach a silencer to their weapon? It'd be a dangerous mistake.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) March 14, 2017
Because criminals (key word: criminals) in New York City obviously follow laws. 🙄 https://t.co/brYJmzcUXQ
— NRA (@NRA) March 14, 2017
But the opposite is actually true. There is proof that suppressors actually benefit the public by reducing noise pollution. Those who live in the vicinity of an outdoor gun range or those who live near public land during hunting season will certainly appreciate this boon from HPA. Additionally, suppressors also mitigate recoil and prevent hearing damage, another win for the millions of lawful Americans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms
Gillibrand’s vow to stop HPA is, therefore, nothing more than a political stunt to appease the anti-gun lobby.