Integrally-suppressed firearms are a very smart concept purely from an environmental health perspective, as they lower the sound of the shot to levels that are not going to damage your hearing.
People who have had to fired unsuppressed firearms often have to deal with temporary and sometimes permanent hearing loss as a result. Even shooters who are careful to use hearing protection when they shoot often develop permanent hearing loss or and tinnitus.
Our technology is advancing to the point that we can manufacture practical firearms that are hearing safe from the factory. While the distinct sound of a gun being fired will still exist, the noise will be reduced to the point it won’t cause permanent hearing loss.
The single biggest obstacle to getting suppressors into widespread use is the archaic and increasingly obsolete National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA).
Originally authored in response to the gangland shootings of the Prohibition era, the NFA restricted numerous type of firearms. Among those heavily-restricted were fully-automatic and selective-fire weapons, short-barrelled rifles (SBRs), short-barrelled shotguns (SBSs), and suppressors or suppressed firearms.
A full repeal of the NFA is a non-starter for a host of reasons we can address at another time, but there is political will developing to start taking some items eintirely out of the National Firearms Act, starting with suppressors.
As a society, we mandate it that motor vehicles have mufflers to stop noise pollution and the hearing damage caused by the millions of internal combustion engines so prevalent in our society. This important technology was invented by a man named Hiram Percy Maxim.
At the same time Maxim developed the now ubiquitous car muffler, he developed a gun muffler using the same technology, for the same reason. Originally, both devices were called silencers (and in parts of the world, automobile noise reduction devices are still called silencers).
While it may not be practical to retrofit many existing firearms with suppressors, we need to amend federal gun laws to encourage the development of integrally suppressed handguns like the Maxim 9, carbines like the Daniel Defense ISR, and others.
Let’s pull silencers completely out of the National Firearms Act, and encourage more companies to develop integrally suppressed firearms at a cost we can all afford, without the roadblocks of federal registration, long waiting periods for paperwork to process, a punitive $200 tax stamp, and harsh criminal penalties that are currently an obstacle to better hearing and environmental noise reduction.
It’s past time that we as a culture dedicate ourselves to “fighting the noise.”