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Media Continue to Uncover How SHARE Act to Gut Silencer Safety Laws Puts Gun Company Profits Ahead of Public Safety

September 21, 2017

A number of news stories published in the last week highlight how the NRA-backed SHARE Act, which would gut silencer safety laws and could soon be scheduled for a full vote in the House of Representatives, puts the profits of struggling gun manufacturers ahead of public safety.

In a column urging Congress to reject the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda, including the SHARE Act, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus wrote that gutting silencer safety laws would threaten the safety of law enforcement, and the public:

“Silencers can be extremely dangerous. They obscure the sound of gunfire, making it more difficult for members of the public to report shootings. Silencers also make it harder for law enforcement to locate and apprehend shooters by diminishing the effectiveness of gunshot detection technology that scores of cities, such as Glendale, have used to help combat crime.

“In the past decade, over 500 police officers have been killed in the line of duty by guns. Federally mandated concealed carry and the deregulation of silencers will increase those numbers.”

A new report by Mother Jones says the SHARE Act “could make ‘gang-style hits’ easier”:

“A recent memo from the Law Enforcement Coalition for Common Sense, signed by more than a dozen current and former law enforcement leaders, argues that, deregulating silencers could have ‘devastating effects’ on public safety and the safety of law enforcement officers. … As a result, assassination-style murders become easier, and bystanders may not know to alert first responders…This proposal would pose an additional threat to law enforcement at a time where officer safety is already at increased risk.”

While the bill threatens public safety, Mother Jones also uncovered more proof that this is a ploy to profit gun and silencer manufacturers who are experiencing a “Trump Slump” in sales. According to Mother Jones, the president of the largest silencer manufacturer said, “There are 300 million firearms out there and [about] 1 million silencers. That shows you the relative scale of the business opportunity.”

Meanwhile, a new report published by The Trace takes a look at how prominently silencers were used in crimes before there were federal laws to keep them out of the wrong hands:

“One afternoon in December 1920, a group of robbers equipped with silencers murdered a Fifth Avenue jeweler and managed to escape in broad daylight. ‘Neighboring tenants had heard no unusual noise’ during the heist, reported the Times.”

Bloomberg View also editorialized against the NRA-backed effort to gut silencer safety laws, reminding us that the sound of gunfire can be lifesaving. In June, when a gunman began shooting at some members of Congress practicing for the congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, it was the sound of gunfire that alerted people to take cover. “Like other real-world events, the occasion should give House Republicans cause to reconsider their devotion to the gun lobby’s agenda.”

Don’t be fooled: The sole purpose of this legislation is to increase the profits of the gun industry, even at the expense of public safety. Silencers distort the sound of a gun; in the wrong hands, they put our safety at risk.

More information about the proposed legislation to gut silencer safety laws is available here. If you have additional questions about this dangerous legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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