Recently, a bill passed the House Public Safety Committee in Minnesota that would legalize suppressors for civilian ownership. A law that is about due as Minnesota is one of the remaining 11 states that doesn’t allow citizens to own suppressors. The HPSC is currently controlled by Republicans, so it isn’t surprising that it passed through. More interesting, it was passed with almost unanimous with bipartisan support, with only one dissension.
As expected, the gun control activists came out with inaccurate and patently false assertions about suppressors. The big proponent to not pass the bill is ProtectMN. A non-profit that looks to end gun violence. A noble cause indeed. Who doesn’t want to end to gun violence and keep firearms out of criminal hands?
However, they fall prey to the same logic, foaming at the mouth, makes claims that are patently false, and lack of intellectual discourse that the pro-gun groups do.
For example, Heather Martens of Protect MN, made the following, but absurd, claim:
“Silencers were not designed as hearing protection devices. They were designed to help people get away with murder,”
Um, what? Excuse me? Apparently, Heather hasn’t even done a simple Google search to get the Wikipedia page that describes it’s early history in the first couple paragraphs:
Maxim gave his device the trademarked name Maxim Silencer, and they were regularly advertised in sporting goods magazines.
Here is the linked source for that piece of history as well. Heather couldn’t even manage a simple Google search in their research to determine that the original purpose was for sport shooting, and was made in tandem with the modern car exhaust muffler. That is, unless you consider hunting as murder. But Protect MN wholly supports hunting according to their website, so that wouldn’t be applicable to that claim either.
The other claim Heather makes, is that it will make Minneapolis’ ‘shot-spotter’ system less likely to detect suppressed gunfire:
Marten said muffled guns are harder for police “shot spotter” listening devices to detect, which could delay the emergency response to an attack.
Which, if you were to read the aforementioned suppressor article on Wikipedia, you would see that suppressors really don’t ‘silence’ a firearm, like these groups would have you believe:
Live tests by independent reviewers of numerous commercially available suppressors find that even low-power, unsuppressed .22 LR handguns produce gunshots over 160 decibels.
So, the average .22LR pistol, a low powered and low caliber cartridge, still produce noise above the levels of jet takeoff. So while the current shot-spotter systems may not have the signatures for a suppressed firearm, it would not be a difficult task to compensate for these modifications. Even at the quietest, commercially available suppressors register in at 117db, or 1db below a turbofan aircraft.
This post doesn’t even touch the fact that crimes committed with suppressors being illegally possessed and used in conjunction with a crime, is extremely rare. Even in those cases, an even extremely smaller percentage actually used them. Most ‘crimes’ were for possession of a suppressor without the tax stamp.
So there won’t be any Codename 47 types silently murdering people without getting caught. Just an uninformed and overzealous gun control group that wants to remove firearms and certain modifications from the general populace without any quantifiable justification.