The Huffington Post was upset this last week and reported on the GOP's move to make silencers for firearms more accessible. At issue is The Hearing Protection Act of 2015. Basically the proposition is that silencers shouldn't be taxed and restricted.
This is a good law.
Silencers are a good tool when used properly. Guns are loud and turning down the volume is always a good idea.
The last time I worked ITRC there were some cool toys on display. One of those toys was a souped full auto M4 on a sub-compact frame with a can screwed on the end of the very short barrel. It was a manufactures sample piece that was brought in for demonstration for some Rangers. I was told that this set up was the best full auto silenced machine gun in the world.
I don't really know if it was the "best" set up, or if the gun reps were just saying that to sell the army some guns. What I do know is that a lot of ammo went down range out of that gun. I was standing around watching the demonstration when I was asked if I'd like to run a couple of mags.
Being offered a gun guys equivalent of a romp in the sack with a supermodel....I said no I'm married. Just kidding. I loving pressed the butt into my shoulder, leaned towards the target and compensated for barrel climb. It was good. I mean getting caught by your ex girlfriend rounding second base with the head cheerleader the same day she dumped you, GOOD. I did it without protection.
That's right, full auto, no hearing protection. I didn't have my ears in the entire time I was on the line. It didn't cause me any discomfort. I was even able to hear something that I never experienced in over 40 years of shooting. I could hear the action cycling. For all of that, the gun still wasn't truly silent. It sounded similar to an air compressor in a mechanics shop.
Silencer use should be encouraged. Of course it would be great for city or suburban gun ranges. Practice in general would improve with quieter guns. Hunting would improve as hunters would create less of an impact on the surrounding wildlife during the season.
I'm all for silencers. I hope they pass this law.