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Many people continue to call the silencers when in fact they are not. They are properly called suppressors because they only suppress some of the sound made when firing a gun. Real guns with suppressors can still be easily heard, but the sound is not as loud or damaging to the ears of anyone close. Earlier this week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that makes it legal for manufacturing or owning of a suppressor.

Yesterday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law decriminalizing the manufacture and possession of firearm suppressors in the state. The new law not only removes a layer of state regulation, it will help foster an environment hostile to federal gun control in Tennessee.

Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) introduced Senate Bill 921 (SB921) earlier this year. Titled the “Tennessee Hearing Protection Act,” the new law repeals current Tennessee statutes prohibiting the possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of firearm “silencers,” more appropriately referred to as “suppressors.”

These devices simply muffle the sound of a gun. They do not literally silence firearms. Nevertheless, the federal government heavily regulates silencers under the National Firearms Act. The feds charge a $200 tax on the purchase of the devices. Buying one also requires months-long waits after filing extensive paperwork with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives…

Since suppressors do not silence a gunshot which means they pose no additional danger to the public, there is really no need to make them illegal. In fact, suppressors help protect the ears of the shooter by reducing the decibel level of the gunshot, so in fact, one could consider suppressors to be a safety device.

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