Friday, September 9, 2011

Legal Silencers in Michigan

Several times I've been challenged by the pro-gun crowd to name one gun control law that I do not support. These are the same guys who accuse me of wanting to ban all guns in civilian hands and other nonsense like that.

Well, here it is: the law which prohibits owning silencers. Sure, I suppose some bad guys would use them if they were more available, but I don't see that as a major issue. The only question I have about this is "why?" Why would anyone want one?

Frankly I don't buy all that talk about sound suppression. The gun shop owner in the video said it's useful for guys who shoot frequently without ear protection. That sounds a little weird to me.

I figure there are only a few reasons.

1. real gun enthusiasts love everything about guns and want every possibly accessory.
2. many gun owners want them simply because they were prohibited.
3. by far the biggest reason, as seen at 1:02 of the video, is to stimulate the James Bond fantasies which many gun owners secretly enjoy.

What's your opinion? Do you think that, given the flimsy reasons for wanting silencers, even a minor uptick in criminal use should outweigh? Am I being too soft and generous on our gun-owning friends again?

Nah, I'll stick with my opinion.  Let them have silencers in Michigan and everywhere else, if they want.

Please leave a comment.


  1. I have no need for a silencer but since noise from ranges seem to be an issue in some areas, maybe it would help.

    As far as a gun control issue, most of Europe doesn't even ban silencers. Or most other accessories for that matter.

  2. FWM, I remember going into Belgian Sporting goods shops and seeing silencers on the shelves.

    Of course, getting a gun is harder in Europe than the states.

    Also, the silencers can be used on pellet guns. It makes no sense why they would be used on pellet guns since they pretty much silent.

  3. I know they aren't as cool, but the ear muff hearing protectors work pretty well.

    And cheaper.

    And don't require cleaning.

  4. "And don't require cleaning."

    Well, apparently you do not yet suffer from TUEFOA* :>)

    The "James Bond" thing is certainly true of a lot of people with or without gunz. When I'm in the bar watching a ballgame and see all of the drunken yahoos with their team jerseys talking trash to each other I sometimes think to myself, "What would make this even more fun? Gunz, gunz with silencerz!

    * The Uncontrollable Earwax Flow Of Aging.

  5. "I know they aren't as cool, but the ear muff hearing protectors work pretty well."

    Yes, but it's a bitch to try and convince everyone living near a range to wear them all of the time.

  6. "Of course, getting a gun is harder in Europe than the states."

    At least in Europe, they are adult about their gun control. No need to worry about cosmetic features and boxes with springs in them when you control the guns themselves.

    Gun control here is a bit more immature--which I am happy for, don't get me wrong. As long as they keep focusing on their PEZ bullet dispensers and should-things-that-go-up instead of actually banning guns, then so much the better. More guns for me.

  7. Does the word gimmicky come to mind when you think about these things?

    First off, they are expensive.
    Secondly, they work best with subsonic ammunition (otherwise you still get a sonic crack)
    Thirdly, they add bulk to the front of your weapon.
    Fourthly, they will be heavily regulated.

    My opinion is that if you are willing to register it, you should be able to own it (within reason--rocket launchers may be a bit extreme).

    But these are expensive toys.

  8. Laci The Dog:

    Register it? What you think the guyz that won't think about registering their gunz are gonna register and assessory?

  9. From a standpoint of noise disturbances from neighbors, it is more applicable to people who occasionally shoot on their private property than gun ranges where, quite frankly, suppressors will never be so ubiquitous that everyone has them. You should still wear hearing protection when firing most suppressed guns, but it makes a big difference in how far the report carries.

    The other obvious use is home defense, where there is no time to put on earmuffs for yourself and your whole family.

  10. Demo,

    All silencers are registered now and have been for decades. Michigan allowing them to be sold and used in the state does not remove the NFA controls on them. If anything else, this will cause more gun registration since in order to purchase your silencer, you have to register it and the gun it will be used on along with paying your $200 tax.

    I would think you all would be happy with this since it forces Federal gun registration by default.

  11. "I would think you all would be happy with this since it forces Federal gun registration by default."

    It's not a total gun ban, therefore Demo is not happy. Hell, even then he'd figure out a way to be a whiny little bitch about something.

  12. On The Truth About Guns, old Brad is ready for this game.

  13. I've gotten the argument many times from the pro-gun extremists that silencers shouldn't be registered or otherwise illegal because of the need for hearing protection.

    Gee, which is more effective? A silencer, which costs hundreds to even more than a thousand dollars and is only partially effective anyway, or paying twenty bucks for a decent set of ear protection that blocks out almost all the noise. Hmm?

    When I mentioned this, they said that a silencer was also to protect the hearing of hunting dogs. Really?? Now that's a stretch!

    Come on, why not just come right out and say they want it for the coolness factor and to thumb their noses at gun control advocates?

    While silencers don't eliminate noise like on the movies, they certainly reduce it significantly, making it harder to detect a shooter. For this reason, they should still be illegal.

  14. "Gee, which is more effective? A silencer, which costs hundreds to even more than a thousand dollars and is only partially effective anyway, or paying twenty bucks for a decent set of ear protection that blocks out almost all the noise. Hmm?"

    I am not a big fan of the hearing protection argument, or a fan of suppressors for that matter beyond the coolness factor, but the cost is only inflated because of the restrictions. Suppressors in Europe and even Australia and New Zealand, where they don't worry about banning cosmetic accessories like they do here, cost starting around $45 for basic pistol models.

  15. Consider suppressors are handy near populated areas where pest control/hunting can occur without alarming residents.

    If you live in an urban area adjacent to where hunting may take place, you probably don't want to hear shots routinely when rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, coyotes etc might be 'managed' more quietly (and without constant calls to police).

    There's a retirement community near where I grew up called Rossmoor. Thousands of acres with a golf course nestled into a valley covered in oak trees. Its incorporated into the more urban city of Walnut Creek but has its own police force.

    While residents favorably view the deer that wander through; not so much the mountain lions that follow. Rafters of wild turkey create quite a mess and animals noted above (basically pests) can do a great deal of damage to the landscape in an area where non lethal traps, poisons, and other methods aren't very effective.

    Suppressors aren't silent, but they do lower the noise level below that which would alarm most people. So as a management tool let's not discount the additional help in pest control they can provide.

  16. Anonymous @3:45 AM:

    Fuck you, you lying sack of shit.


    "All silencers are registered now and have been for decades."

    I'd be willing to bet a week's pay (mind you, I've no income at present) against there being maybe a few (thousands) illegal silencers out there--along with a similar number of illegally converted semi-auto to full auto AK, SKS, what have you assault style and actual assault weapons.


    Earmuffs? You think everybody wears them? I hate to be the one to break it to you but I've seen hundreds of youtubers with people firing all sorts of weapons with no hearing protection that's visible. And, I'm guessing that someone saying, "Man, that motherfucker is LOUD!" probably means no earplugs, too.

    Where I've lived it's pretty much illegal to fire a gun within 500' of a dwelling place. Makes it tough for urban hunters but then occassionally one of them fucks up, like this guy:

    It worked out okay for him though. He didn't have to pay a fine or go to jail because it was a "hunting accident" instead of manslaughter. But, DAMMIT, he lost his precious killing, I mean hunting, license. If he had just had a silencer he coulda capped that gal and been home havin' a brewski by the time they found her body.

  17. annually the feds take in MILLIONS of dollars on the 200 dollar per unit tax stamp needed for the transfer of silencers and machine guns....they will NEVER give up that juicy income!!

  18. And you have a citation to back that up? Let's not lump the individual owners in with the
    FFL's and manufacturers. For the former it's an "onerous burden*" collected by the jackbooted nannies of the thug state. The other is simply a cost of doing business that is simply added to the price by the manufacturer/assumed by the buyer or perhaps both.

    * Not be be confused with the reasonable fees for license/permits for wild game hunting.