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Firearm silencers or suppressors have earned a somewhat nefarious reputation thanks in part to their frequent portrayal in pop culture as the accessories of hitmen and assassins like James Bond.
For many everyday gun owners, they’re little more than a tool that limits the sound of gunfire, making shooting easier on the ears. At least that’s the argument put forward by one prominent gun enthusiast — Donald Trump Jr., the son of President-elect Donald Trump.
As it stands now, silencers are currently legal in 42 states, but they’re strictly regulated by the Federal government. In order to purchase a silencer, an average law-abiding citizen must undergo a nine-month approval process in addition to paying a hefty tax of $200, notes The Washington Post.
In spite of the paperwork and fees, silencers remain popular. In 2010 there were 285,087 registered silencers in the United States, as of last year, that number had grown to 902,085.
The firearm industry, which has railed against the restrictions for years, is pursuing new legislation to make it easier to buy silencers, and Trump Jr. is an outspoken proponent of a proposed policy change to do just that.
In a video interview with SilencerCo., a Utah-based silencer manufacturer, Trump Jr. framed the issue around safety, namely the safety of shooters, alluding to the effects of firing an unsuppressed weapon.
“It’s about safety,” Trump Jr., himself an avid hunter and recreational shooter, said in the video interview. “It’s about hearing protection. It’s a health issue for me. It’s just a great instrument. There’s nothing bad about it all. It makes total sense. It’s where we should be going.”
Proponents of silencers, like Trump Jr. are often quick to draw attention to Britain, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, but has no regulations against silencers.
“I’ve had the privilege of being able to hunt in Europe where some of the strictest gun laws in the world exist, but guess what? Virtually every hunting gun there is suppressed,” Trump Jr. said in the interview. “They have silencers there, they don’t look at it as this military whatever, I don’t even know what the left tries to portray this as. It’s about safety.”
Far from actually making gunfire completely silent, silencers function similar to a muffler on a car’s exhaust, reducing the sound.
An attempt to lessen restrictions on silencers in U.S. stalled last year when the Hearing Protection Act failed to make it to committee hearings, however it was the third most viewed piece of legislation on Congress’ website that year. The law would have moved silencers out of the same category as machine guns and hand grenades, eliminating the heavy fees and lengthy approval process.
Now, with Republicans in charge of the House and Senate, and Trump Jr. advocating to lessen restrictions on silencers as a public health effort to safeguard ear-drums and hearing, gun owners may be able to purchase the accessory with greater ease in the future.
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, and piña colada may be familiar drinks to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.