It’s begun: Democrat senator proposes legislation to ban sale and ownership of suppressors

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The following contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier in April, Democratic Senator Bob Mendez introduced legislation that aims to ban the sale and possession of firearm suppressors, alleging that firearm suppressors have “one purpose only – to muffle the sound of gunfire from unsuspecting victims.”

Senator Mendez introduced the proposed legislation on April 13th, with the effort being co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, and Cory Booker – as well as a handful of others.

Apparently, this legislation hoping to see the end of firearm suppressors has been dubbed as the “Help Empower Americans to Respond” Act, or the “HEAR” Act.

To put it plainly, if the legislation were to pass, it would ban the importation, sale, manufacturing, transfer, and mere possession of firearm suppressors in the United States.

Senator Mendez had the following to say about the proposed legislation:

“Gun silencers are dangerous devices with one purpose and one purpose only – to muffle the sound of gunfire from unsuspecting victims.

“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.

“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.”

Senator Feinstein piggybacked off the mischaracterization of firearm suppressors that Senator Mendez alleged, saying:

“Gun silencers and suppressors are dangerous and don’t belong in our communities. They hide the sound of gunfire from potential victims and law enforcement. Removing them will save lives.”

For the record, Senator Mendez has a documented history of proclaiming the aforementioned about firearm suppressors and introducing legislation seeking their ban in the United States.

He made essentially the same proclamations about firearm suppressors back in 2019 and 2020, where Senator Mendez was hoping to accomplish the same exact thing this HEAR Act what implement.

Most of the misconceptions associated with the efficacy of firearm suppressors comes from the likes of Hollywood movies, TV shows, and video games – essentially painting a portrait that these firearm accessories dull down the decibels produced by a gunshot to the point where someone nearby wouldn’t hear it.

Yet real world testing has shown that firearm suppressors, typically referred to as “silencers” by most people, don’t come anywhere close to making a firearm actually silent.

In most cases, the level of “silencing” that firearms suppressors accomplish when used is taking the decibel level produced from a standard gunshot from a level of likely hearing damage to something about as loud as a police siren or a thunderclap due to the standard noise reduction being around 30 decibels when a suppressor is used (based upon an average output of around 150 decibels from a gunshot).

Taking this into consideration dispels the myth perpetuated by Senator Mendez that it “is nearly impossible” to ascertain that a gun is going off in reasonable proximity.

Which then brings us to the point that Senator Mendez made when commenting on his proposed legislation, where he said suppressors have “one purpose only – to muffle the sound of gunfire from unsuspecting victims.”

If that were genuinely the “one purpose” of owning a firearm suppressor in the United States, then we would have a big problem on our hands considering there are over 2 million suppressors actively within the country.

However, a study performed by Stephen Gutowski showed there is, on average, only 44 crimes committed per year involving firearm suppressors.

Taking all that into account dispels the notion that the sole “purpose” of owning a firearm suppressor is to engage in the likes of violent criminal activity.

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Earlier in April, Law Enforcement Today also fact checked recent remarks made by President Joe Biden regarding a gross misinterpretation of liability laws regarding firearm manufacturers. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

WASHINGTON, DC- If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Joe Biden, it’s that he has a very significant problem telling the truth. Whether it’s about his “success” in law school to his schoolyard “fight” with some dude named “Corn Pop,” Biden and the truth are like oil and water.

This week he’s managed a couple of whoppers, including a few about the Georgia election law, and more recently about guns.

At Biden’s press briefing about his latest foray into running the country as a monarch instead of a president, where he issued yet another executive order, this time on guns, the truth in his comments was nowhere to be found.

He lied about ghost guns, he lied about the “gun show loophole,” he lied about pistol braces and he also lied about gun manufacturers having unlimited legal immunity. A fact check of the latter by Breitbart News determined that also was a lie.

Biden’s claim likely emanates from the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). That act does shield gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits, but not from all suits completely.

In Biden’s rambling remarks on Thursday, Biden said:

“We should…eliminate gun manufacturers from the immunity they receive from Congress.”

He continued, “Most people don’t realize, the only industry in America, a billion dollar industry, that can’t be sued…are gun manufacturers.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Breitbart (@wearebreitbart)

Breitbart notes that the PLCAA is extremely narrow in scope. It shields gun manufacturers from being sued in circumstances where a gun used in a criminal manner was legally manufactured and sold.

What that basically means is that if a gun, say a Beretta or Glock was used in the commission of a crime, and that firearm was legally made, distributed from the factory to a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL), then sold after a National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) check was completed on the individual at retail, the manufacturer cannot be sued.

According to the text of PLCCA:

“Businesses in the United States that are engaged in interstate and foreign commerce through the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, importation, or sale to the public of firearms or ammunition products that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce are not, and should not, be liable for the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products or ammunition products that function as designed and intended.”

Those protections, however, do not shield gun manufacturers from all lawsuits. For example, they do not extend to lawsuits filed over defective goods, criminal misconduct on the part of the gun manufacturer, and so on.

So, to put it in terms that even Biden can understand, the protections granted under PLCAA do not give gun manufacturers blanket “legal immunity.” Period.

According to the Cato Institute:

“PLCAA is a common-sense law. Product liability suits are usually focused on actual manufacturing defects.

A good backyard grill effectively grills meat, but if it blows up due to a manufacturing defect, then a tort suit is warranted. A good gun shoots reliably and accurately and doesn’t blow up in your hands.

While gun manufacturers should [be] and are liable for guns that malfunction, they shouldn’t be liable for making reliable and accurate guns that can be used for mayhem, of course, but can also be used for self-defense and sporting purposes.”

This is not the first time that a Democrat has made the same bogus claims about gun manufacturers being exempt from lawsuits. In 2016 in the leadup to the presidential election, Hillary Clinton spouted the same lies.

Clinton said at the time:

“So far as I know, the gun industry and gun sellers are the only business in America that is totally free of liability for their behavior. Nobody else is given that immunity. And that just illustrates the extremism that has taken over this debate.”

As Maury Povich would say, “we have determined that is a lie.”

At the time, NPR fact checked Clinton’s statement and found her to be “wrong.” They said:

“Lawmakers passed (PLCAA) in response to a spate of lawsuits that cities filed against the gun industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Those lawsuits often claimed gun-makers or sellers were engaging in “negligent marketing” or creating a “public nuisance.”

“In 2000, for example, New York City joined 30 counties and cities in suing gun manufacturers, saying manufacturers should have been making their products safer and also better tracking where their products were sold. Manufacturers, one argument at the time went, should stop supplying stores that sell a lot of guns that end up being used in crimes.

“In response to these lawsuits the NRA pushed for the law, which passed in 2005 with support from both Republicans and Democrats…The law, however, allows for specific cases in which dealers and manufacturers can be held responsible. So that makes Clinton’s statement technically incorrect.”

Clinton’s claim that gun makers enjoy broad-based blanket immunity was wrong in 2005, and it’s wrong now.

Think about this. What Biden and other leftists are asking to be applied to the gun industry is a slippery slope. What if the same “logic” were applied to automobiles? After all, a gun, just as an automobile is an inanimate object, only working when used by a human being.

What if car manufacturers could be sued if a vehicle driven by a drunk driver struck and killed someone? After all, just as with guns, auto manufacturers do not know how their products will be used. Both believe their products will be used in a legal manner.

Why should gun manufacturers, out of the obsession by the radical left over their mere existence, be subject to being sued over the illegal possession or use of their products? It makes no sense.

This is just another in a series of obsessive, compulsive mandates the far left is trying to implement with the ultimate goal of an outright ban on firearms.

Make no mistake about it; that is their ultimate goal. They have pretty much come out and said it.

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