Column: Time to remove suppressors from NFA controls

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Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 7:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 7:04 p.m.

SARASOTA – Cloaked in shadows, the international hit man quietly screws the evil looking “silencer” onto the barrel of his revolver.

The target emerges.

He aims and squeezes the trigger.

The suppressor emits a barely audible pffft — a low pop that’s quieter than a cat’s purr.

That’s how suppressors are portrayed in film — and one reason why they’re so rigorously controlled — but there’s a few problems with that scenario.

One, international hit men don’t really exist. Two, unless it’s a Russian M1895 Nagant with its gas-seal cylinder, you can’t suppress a revolver. Three, while they reduce some noise, suppressors can’t completely muffle a firearm’s report.

Most importantly, suppressors are surging in popularity for another reason — because there’s nothing nefarious about them.

Last year, more than a half-million suppressors were sold to folks who live in the 39 states where they’re legal — not prohibited by state law.

That’s a 37 percent increase in sales when compared with 2012, and a 43 percent increase from 2011 numbers.

You can read the rest of my column here.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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