‘Tools of Murder’ – Bill Introduced to Outlaw, ‘Buyback’ Suppressors

AAC’s Jaeger, a dedicated hunting suppressor.

The Help Empower Americans to Respond (HEAR) Act was reintroduced on Thursday.  

Sponsored by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), the HEAR Act would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, and possession of suppressors.

Per the language of the bill, it would also: 

  • Authorize a buyback program for silencers using Byrne JAG grants;
  • Provide individuals with a 90-day grace period after the date of enactment for individuals to comply with the ban;
  • Provide limited exceptions for certain current and former law enforcement personnel, for certain Atomic Energy personnel and purpose, and for certain authorized testing or experimentation.

“Gun silencers are dangerous devices with one purpose and one purpose only – to muffle the sound of gunfire from unsuspecting victims,” said Sen. Menendez in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.   

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“The sound of gunshots is what signals you to run, hide, take cover, call the police and help others save themselves; however, this is nearly impossible when a gun silencer is used,” he continued. “That is why we must pass the HEAR Act, commonsense legislation that will prevent armed assailants from using these deadly devices to make it easier to shoot and kill another person.”

Claiming a ban on suppressors has “widespread support among voters,” Congresswoman Watson said, “Silencers are not tools of self-defense, they are tools of murder.”

“They have no legal application which is why law enforcement officials around the country have been calling for their elimination,” she added.  

Menendez originally introduced the HEAR Act in 2019 following the Virginia Beach mass killing.

GunsAmerica reached out to Knox Williams, the President of the American Suppressor Association, to get his thoughts on the bill.

“Senator Menendez and Rep. Watson Coleman are entitled to their own opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts,” he told GunsAmerica via email.

“Their statements aren’t just misleading, they are out and out lies. It is abundantly clear that they have never heard a suppressed gunshot, because if they had they would know how loud they truly are,” he continued. “Rather than hide behind their falsehoods, they should join us at the range so they can see and hear firsthand how wrong they are about suppressors. We would be happy to host an educational demonstration for them any time, any place.”

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Carbine Williams May 28, 2021, 9:24 am

    Christ ,why can’t these ignorant Constitution haters just up and die to decrease the surplus population as Scrooge so justly quoted. T hey are dumber then a bag of hammers and most dog excrement has more common sense by just lying there doing nothing

  • 308Pete April 16, 2021, 9:12 pm

    Democrats need to check crime stats – I can’t remember a legal Class 3 owner ever using their suppressor for a crime – what Class 3 owner of any NFA item including SMGs would risk their status & property for a crime?

    Maybe they can ‘ban’ movies that lie and politicians that refuse to go to a range for a demonstration!

  • Hate politicians April 16, 2021, 4:24 pm

    Again we hear from the ignorant pedophile Menendez. He should STFU until he gets educated.

  • bill weatherholt April 16, 2021, 1:34 pm

    Time to outlaw electric cars , blind people call them silent killers , and seriously these idiots in congress have been watching to many movies in real life a silencer is much louder then movies make them sound

  • robert thompson April 16, 2021, 1:23 pm

    surpressors only lower the sound level so a hunter doesn’t have to have hearing protection. no one is using them to hunt people Mendez is a jerk and just wants to take away your rights.

  • C T April 16, 2021, 1:06 pm

    How did this piece of shit not get convicted? Screw him and the rest of the gun grabbers. Keep pushing us you little fucks.

  • rsmalt April 16, 2021, 12:47 pm

    My, but Menendez has been a BUSY little tool!

    He’s too stupid to know how stupid he is.

  • Stan d. Upnow April 16, 2021, 11:41 am

    Next, if they continue with their agenda(they will), you’ll hear them calling for bans on any kind of firearm optics. “They serve only one purpose- to make the gun more accurate & deadly. They are tools of murder.”

    They wanted to regulate Air Soft guns as firearms! And all other air guns, too.
    A grammar school kid pointed his finger at a classmate and was arrested for threatening the other kid with a “gun.” When are we going to stop this insanity??

  • Stan d. Upnow April 16, 2021, 11:31 am

    Ah yes, it’s Menendez….again! It disgusts me that these totally ignorant imbeciles are in a position to attempt to pass laws that are meaningless as far as their expressed goals, but care not a bit about their infringement on our rights. When will the voters wise-up?

  • Jim A April 16, 2021, 9:51 am

    If this passes (it won’t) there will be calls to remove mufflers from vehicles. Given the death numbers from vehicles, it would be discriminatory otherwise.

  • DavidInCO April 16, 2021, 9:47 am

    Jesus Tapdancing Christ! According to the BATFE’s own stats, approximately 0.003% of owned “silencers” are used to commit crime. These people are shameless fucking liars. I am so tired of this crap. When are we going to employ the same tactics in defense of our rights? This has got to stop.

  • Grier Phillips April 16, 2021, 9:23 am

    Funny thing about LEOs calling for ban on suppressors.
    When I applied for my suppressed .22, the CLEO and I talked about suppressors in general and he approved it.
    Nearly a year later, after I received the gun w/ built in suppressor, the CLEO called me and asked if I had it, and if so, could they barrow it to take out a couple of street lights prior to a dynamic entry on a known drug manufacturing building. I loaned it out, it was used, nobody died. Now the city has 2 suppressed guns, rifle and handgun.

  • Sloop April 16, 2021, 8:20 am

    My “silencer” isn’t.

  • Greg Hampton April 16, 2021, 8:16 am

    Note: no mention of return of tax stamp costs in buyback. Shows how ignorant these legislators are about firearms.

  • me April 16, 2021, 7:19 am

    The reason their may be people who support these stupid bills is because they are given false info by people like these two Senators and the media. Once the truth comes out those number of who favor gun control usually drops. So the left has to keep pushing lies to get what they want.

  • I Am So Ashamed April 16, 2021, 5:10 am

    Regardless of Mendez, Where was let’s make America Great again when he had a chance to pass several laws that were 2nd amendment savvy… Like Nationwide reseprosity for CCP.
    What about the silencer act for hunters in and around areas where noise pollution would be a factor…
    So much to do, so little time…..
    Well That’s All Folks at least for the next 4 years……
    ✒ or the ⚔…..let Freedom ring

    • CB April 16, 2021, 3:43 pm

      He was tied up with all of the phony scandals and corrupt media driven with-hunts. I’m just glad he put a lot of judges in place.

  • Mark N. April 16, 2021, 1:20 am

    Weapons of war are intentionally protected by the Second Amendment, according to Miller v. US. The US military and various police forces use silencers (or more properly, mufflers). therefore they are protected by the Second Amendment.

    Anyone who believes that silencers actually reduce the sound of a firearm to inaudible levels has been watching too many movies. All they do is reduce the volume below the threshold of hearing damage. A bill was proposed that said exactly that. Indeed, anti-gun Europe embraces silencers and they can be bought over the counter. The Democrats told us to “trust the science,” but bills like this demonstrate their innate hypocrisy as they deny the science behind these devices.

    But what do I know. I live in California where they are banned. I’ve never actually seen one on the flesh much less experienced one at the range.

    • bill April 16, 2021, 8:47 pm

      Mrk N I , too , live in the late great state of Californiastan. It is the home of all the anti gun, anti 2nd, anti incarceration, anti Constitution activists of all stripes. I read that some of our woke state legislators are trying to pass a bill that would make it illegal to disagree with an elected politician. Right at the head of the movement in a national congressman schiffhead. unbelieveable!!

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