By Tom Knighton
Despite being around for more than a century, suppressors aren’t really used in crimes. In fact, it seems like the only time you see a crime committed with a suppressor, it’s where having the suppressor itself is illegal for whatever reason. They’re just not used that way very often.
However, if the Hearing Protection Act passes as part of the SHARE Act, suppressors will likely become far more common.
That has the hysterical tribe at The Trace worried about criminals getting their grubby little paws on them via theft.
Congress could vote as soon as this week to repeal part of an 80-year-old law that has forced owners of silencers to register the devices with the federal government. Supporters of removing restrictions on silencers have dismissed the concerns of opponents by pointing out that suppressors, as they’re also known, are today rarely used in crimes.
The more pertinent public safety question, however, is what could happen if many more silencers enter circulation.
Even with the hurdles that silencer buyers must deal with, demand for the items is already increasing, fueled by a new generation of suppressors and some slick marketing. 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.
We’ve written before that as goes the legal gun industry, so goes the criminal arsenal. Firearms and related tools like extended magazines that are initially sold legally end up in criminals’ hands in several ways: unregulated private transactions, straw purchases and, of course, theft.
To be sure, theft is a legitimate concern. It’s impossible to keep things out of criminals’ hands because Click to see the original article