In a surprisingly balanced ABC 7 report about a bill proposing the legalization of silencers in Illinois, several Illinois law enforcement leaders show that they are either uninformed about the use of the noise-reducing devices, or are being intentionally dishonest as they attempt to prop up the state’s draconian gun control schemes.
The dishonesty began with rabidly anti-gun Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart:
“Frequently the telephone calls that come in to law enforcement about problems that occur on streets come from neighbors and the like who have heard gunshots out there; it draws law enforcement to the area where the shots were fired from,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “If there was none of that, it would decrease the ability for law enforcement to get to a location and quickly find out what happened and maybe the people who did it are still in the general area? Yeah, it would hurt.”
Dart is either dangerously ignorant—quite a possibility— or is being purposefully deceptive in asserting that silencers completely suppress the sound of a shot being fired like you see in Hollywood movies.
That simply isn’t true.
Ed Wojcicki of the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs says that, “we’re against it because the risk is just too high of getting silencers in the hands of people who are going to use it to, really, kill other people.”
This isn’t remotely true either.
Wojcicki can’t cite any data from 40 states in the nation where silencers are legal to support his position that silencers are used in criminal homicide, because there isn’t any (PDF). Crimes with silencers are so rare that there isn’t even a tracked category of crimes committed with them.
Silencers are heavily regulated under federal law and will remain so even after Illinois passes legislation to make them legal in the state. People who own silencers undergo extensive federal background checks and pay a $200 tax for each suppressor that they own.
It would be nice if Illinois law enforcement agencies weren’t so distrusting of their citizens, but they seem to have a real problem with law-abiding citizens exercising their rights, and that says a lot more about the poor state of Illinois law enforcement than it does about the citizens of Illinois.