Here is my recent article that was published over at AmmoLand.com
last week. Enjoy!
Yes, suppressors – or silencers, cans, moderators, mufflers, or whatever your fancy. The next big wave to hit the gun industry will be those infamous “tools of assassins, cop killers, and mafia thugs“… or so Hollywood and those loony gun grabbers would like everyone to be manipulated into believing.
No, suppressors are not anything new to the gun industry… and many shooters are already entrenched in the splendor that is suppressor shooting, but they have yet to really go mainstream. They are legal to own in 39 states, but there has yet to be a “suppressor in every home” so to speak. In fact, the latest statistics tell us that suppressor sales are only in the twenty thousand per year range. When you look at the roughly estimated number of 80 million gun owners in the United States, there is a very large discrepancy between gun owners and suppressor owners.
All that being said, there seems to be a growing trend within the industry. Have you noticed that everybody and their momma are now making guns with threaded barrels? Have you noticed that even small gun companies are now getting into the mix?… some are even starting to produce their own suppressors. The NRA is now also speaking out in support of suppressors. It seems that they have finally come to the realization that suppressors are not the evil incarnation that they once felt they were, but instead are legitimate safety devises (group-think and yes-men be damned!). Things within the industry seem to be all lined up for a big push, and I personally believe that consumers (and their money) are ready, willing, and waiting.
To truly get suppressors to go mainstream, we must get legislation passed to deregulate suppressors and remove the $200 tax stamp. We must end the ridiculously invasive acquisition process, and lift the complete bans in the eleven oppressive states that ignorantly think that they are keeping people safe. If we can get this to happen, then we might really see this market segment take off.
I know that for me personally the only thing that is really keeping me from buying several suppressors is that draconian $200 tax. I (and my hearing) would absolutely love to be able to put a suppressor on my “nightstand gun“, one on my carbine, one on my deer rifle, and one on my squirrel rifle. However, that $200 a pop tax stamp is a real deal breaker for me. Additionally, if we can get legislation passed to end the requirement for the tax stamp (or at least get the price tag down to non-disenfranchisement levels), you are really going to see a lot of new companies get into the suppressor game. Right now there are only a handful. Once the number of companies offering suppressors begins to significantly increase prices of suppressors themselves will plummet. Then they will be much more attainable for every gun owner who desires that extra level of hearing protection.
I really hope that this is the next legal battleground for us as gun owners. For one, I think this is a slam dunk win for our side. As the NRA recently pointed out, silencers are legally classified as firearms for regulatory purposes, but don’t meet the definition of a firearm. All of the tired old justifications for suppressor regulation just don’t hold water anymore. Each one has been thoroughly debunked in the numerous states that allow full suppressor ownership and use – including hunting. The opposition really does not have a debatable leg to stand on in this one.
Secondly, I think that the deregulation and mainstreaming of suppressors will be a great thing for the gun culture in this country. Simply put, suppressors make shooting much more enjoyable and safer. They are a great way to introduce children and new shooters to the sport of shooting and it is the neighborly way to take game animals. Deregulation would be a big win for everyone all the way around.
So are suppressors really going to be the next big craze to hit the gun industry? Will they be the next big legal battleground for us as gun owners? Are suppressors going to be 2012′s “must have item“? I don’t really know for sure, but I really do hope that they are. I wish more than anything right now that we could get rid of the ridiculous barriers to entry into the world of suppressor shooting and that we could start making them more attainable to the masses. Suppressor shooting is not what the far left has been characterizing it to be to the American public, and there is no time like the present to start changing minds and influencing our elected representatives to release suppressors from the stranglehold of government regulation.