Noise suppressors on firearms

I’ve been hearing from people asking me to legalize gun silencers. It’s not something I want to do.

Over the past week, I’ve gotten approximately 1200 emails (mostly from outside my district) along the following lines:

As a law-abiding Second Amendment supporter in Massachusetts, I urge you to please support both H.763 and H.789.

H.763 and H.789 are similar bills which would legalize firearm suppressor possession in the Bay State. Both H.763 and H.789 would repeal the current prohibition for the use and possession of firearm suppressors and replace the removed section with a provision that would allow the possession of these devices by law-abiding citizens.

Once again, as your constituent, I urge you to please support H.763 and H.789. Thank you.

After hearing on the issue, I have responded as follows:

Thanks for writing about the suppressor legislation.

I have received over 1000 emails on the subject and yesterday, I listened carefully to lengthy testimony on this issue from both proponents and opponents.

I am pretty convinced at this stage that I should not support this legislation.

Urban law enforcement personnel are firmly opposed — making gunshots quieter makes them harder to detect. We heard testimony that shot detectors can detect suppressed shots, but I did not find that testimony credible. The suppressors have to reduce the range and sensitivity of detectors, even if they do not prevent detection of nearby shots. Even if the shot detectors do not degrade, the detector that most people use, the ear, certainly will be less able to detect shots from a distance.

I know that lawful gun users are mostly not the ones committing crime. But, we have a huge struggle on our hands to contain urban violence and we do not want to bring more suppressors into circulation in our state.

I understand the benefits for shooters in terms of hearing loss. Shooters should wear hearing protection and they have many good options for that.

I sympathize with hunters, who naturally do want to hear everything around them. But, at least in our state, that concern does not outweigh the higher concern about urban violence.

House 763 and House 789 would both repeal G.L., s.10A. That section has been on the books in Massachusetts since 1926.

To me, it is common sense that making guns quieter will make it easier to get away with murder. Granted that legal gun owners are not the ones most likely to commit crime, but why would we want to put more of the devices into circulation in Massachusetts? There is always a risk of diversion.

Response to comments, October 13, 10:30PM

Thanks to all who have weighed in here. And kudos to Mr. Carson for his very thoughtful comments in a separate post.

I just want to respond to one comment that often gets repeated: Suppressors are not silencers. Guns are still very loud with suppressors attached. Got it. But there certainly could be cases where being somewhat less loud would allow a shooting to continue for longer before it was detected (from a distance or through walls).

I also understand that suppressors do have real health benefits — so we are balancing speculative public safety benefits against clear shooter health benefits. But at least for now, I’m coming down on the side of broader public risk reduction.

I also understand that suppressors are hard to get, but that doesn’t mean that someone in a licensed person’s household won’t get them indirectly as in Sandy Hook. Likely? Maybe not, but it only takes one to do a lot of damage.

I’m closing this thread to comment, but if you can always reach me at

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

346 replies on “Noise suppressors on firearms”

  1. Why would a citizen need to silence or conceal where they are shooting from? Makes no sense. Will put law enforcement in danger.

  2. I can’t see any argument why a person using a gun legally would need a silencer. I strongly oppose these bills.

  3. Senator, you’re absolutely correct to oppose this legislation. There is absolutely no reason people should need silencers. Please vote “no” on this important issue.

  4. I don’t see why people need silencers. All it would do is help people looking to commit crimes. This isn’t necessary for self-defense, and I urge you to vote against legalizing them.

  5. I think you’re right, Senator Brownsberger, to oppose these bills. Gun silencers’ downsides far outweigh any perceived benefits.

  6. I cannot think of any good reason for permitting silencers on guns. All of the answers to the arguments listed above seem solid to me.


  7. Senator you are 100% right on this. Simply put silencers will make it easier to commit murder. If a gun owner is on the shooting range they can wear ear protectors, If they are hunting you are taking about rifles and shotguns, No one has ever show that there is a hearing loss from hunting. Why would you need silencers on these weapons?
    This is just part of a national NRA effort to destroy all regulations on guns. Public safety requires keeping silencers illegal.

  8. I am firmly opposed to House Bills 763 and 789, which would legalize gun silencers. Silencers would only make it easier for gun crimes to be committed. Our state has done fine without silencers for nearly a century. There’s no reason to legalize them now.

    Thank you.

    Susan Hall

  9. I do not see any reason to increase the number of silencers in the state of MA. I firmly oppose both H.763 and H.789.

    Please do not fall for the gun lobby’s tactics.

  10. I agree with your weighing of the pros and cons Will. On balance, allowing suppressors seems likely to cause more harm than good. As always, thank you for being open to hearing and understanding both sides of the debate.

  11. Fully agree for Will Brownsberger to oppose this bill. Big question is what a good reason behind to pass this bill at all? 99% of citizens will oppose this in my opinion, why some try to push it?

    1. The folks that are interested is seeing this pass are the folk that generally have direct knowledge and experience on the topic.

      What we see with issues like this, there are many opinions of which a great deal are based on fantasy. That’s not to say that their thoughts are invalid, simply that those who are against these bills may not have little relevant or direct experience. Or, they are basing their logic on emotion.

      A suppressor reduces the sound level. It does not make a firearm “silent”. They, in fact, increase the safety to those near a firearm discharge.

      I, for one, would rather ensure the protection of myself and those nearby when discharging a firearm in a lawful manner. I would rather see lawful citizens to be allowed that choice to practice their sport in a safer manner.

      A criminal, on the other-hand, can choose to obtain or build a suppressor without the blessing of the law. A law against possession of suppression devices does not affect their activity one iota. If they want one, they will have one.

      I am in support of these bills that would legalize the possession of firearm suppressors in Massachusetts to those who hold the appropriate firearm licenses.

  12. I totally support your rationale for opposition to allowing silencers.
    I would suspect that the NRA has prompted the large number of comments you have received in favor of allowing silencers.

  13. I appreciate your recognition of the impact of the noise on range shooters and hunters, but I agree with your overall assessment to not support the H.763 and H.789 legislation.

  14. I oppose legalizing gun silencers. I support law enforcement officers. Urban gun violence is bad enough, why make the job harder for policeman on the street who are protecting us?

  15. I’m going to reserve judgement on the suppressors for handguns, but the hunting reasoning (“don’t want to hear everything around them”) is suspect.

    As a hunter I’d WANT to hear everything around me. If a rifle has been shot, I wanna know about it from a safety concern. That’s why if I’m in the woods, I’m much more terrified of an inexperienced bow hunter than an inexperienced hunter with a rifle.

    The argument loses credibility in my mind. I see no good reason in this environment to vote for the legislation.

  16. On a basoc level this is not about James bBond but sound supression. If you have ever been to an indoor range, it is extremely loud. Some use both the ear inserts and head gear. Illegal guns will come with a suppressor if that’s what they want, and this law has nothing to do with that. We have not had even ONE interstate trafficking conviction for the 2/3 Of guns used in crime that are from out of state illegally. No one seems to talk about that….if someone has data to the contrary please share!

  17. Use of gun silencers (gun suppressors)by the general public (law abiding or otherwise)should NOT be legal in Massachusetts.

  18. I’m glad you’re not confused on this issue, Will! Neither am I. Do not legalize silencers.

  19. Thank you, as always, for asking for comment –

    I fully applaud exercise of the second amendment for hunting and the knowledge of what is still wild that comes through hunting, but I worry a lot about the slippage of discipline that comes when people are angry and have developed private fantasies that the power of a gun may bring if 1. they own one, 2. they carry one, and 3. are more likely to be able to use without detection, even in public places where the objects of anger may also be public figures.

    Altogether, there is much to be anxious about in the present world. We shouldn’t ramp up the possibilities yet further with ready availability of guns that may not be heard.

  20. Silencers are a terrible idea. It will make potential killers bolder and literally let murderers get away with murder. Project this legislation with everything you have

  21. I really don’t care. I might support for shotguns but not rifles or handguns. It would help with hearing loss during hunting and trap shooting but not enough to balance issues with use on hand guns and crime.

  22. Sen. Brownsberger,

    I agree with your position. For hearing protection, there are already options that protect the gun user. The only other legitimate argument would be to protect people other than the gun user, but again, ear protection already exists; presumably, if the gun is being used legally and responsibly, the user and those around them should already be using ear protection.

    This leaves the negative effects of suppressors: making it more difficult for law enforcement to detect and triangulate the location of a shooter, as well as making it easier for mass shooters to attack more people in a location without raising an alarm, in the way that an non-suppressed gunshot would.

    Overall, the negative effects, I feel, would outweigh any benefits from making silencers legal.

    Thank you,

  23. Will,

    This state level legislation will not change the fact that suppressors (the correct technical term) are still registered with the ATF under the National Firearms Act. That means that not only does a person buying one in Massachusetts need to have a MA LTC (which requires as much background checks as police and teachers go through), they’re further registered and background checked by the ATF.

    Further, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful here, but the idea that making guns quieter makes it easier to get away with murder is a result of Hollywood. When a gun has a suppressor mounted, it’s still far from silent. In fact, you’ll still want to where hearing protection. Many people at gun ranges actually use double hearing protection, such as foam ear plugs plus ear muffs. The suppressor, as a practical matter, means you can get away with only one form of hearing protection instead of two.

    If you think that “silencers” will really make people more inclined to murder someone, you need to consider what this says about our current LTC system. Further, suppressors are legal in nearly every other state, with the caveat stated about ATF registration. There’s plenty of data out there about how often they’re used in crimes (the data saying, essentially, never).

    So, I’ll say it again, these suppressors would be registered with the ATF (includes the owner’s name and a thorough background check) and the owners in MA would have an LTC (which means an extremely thorough background check).

    1. Yes, firearm noise suppressors are registered, are licensed, and are still noisy.

      Violence enthusiasts keep reciting these facts as if they are actual reasons to use firearm noise suppressors.

      They are not.

      These facts are irrelevant, because they don’t offer any logical reason to legalize the use of suppressors.

  24. I can not imaginable why any reasonable person would support silencers. Maybe it allows more than one shot on a herd of deer or not disturbing your urban neighbors with target practice in your back yard. Maybe gang members who want to make hits more privately. We have to many armaments now. What ever the benefits that i can not imagine the detriments are greater.

  25. I absolutely oppose the legalization of silencers. To do so would be but encouragement of those hesitatingly on the line to get revenge. Just makes one more likely to think they can get away with murder. Practical reasons are insignificant in comparison.

  26. How on earth would the general public benefit from legalizing silencers on guns? What purpose do they serve besides hiding a crime or, act violence? Legalizing them is a frightening thought.

  27. Dear Will,

    I completely agree with your common sense opinion on this issue. I’m astounded that so many of your constituents would support these bills.


    Daniel Yazbek

  28. Both these bills should be voted down.
    The 2nd amendment says nothing about silencers; so that’s a specious argument. Silencers only promote stealthy use of guns.
    The “hearing protection” argument is weak and only an excuse.

    How’s about proposing a licensing and tax plan on the sale of ammunition?

  29. I can understand people being concerned about their hearing, but considering the many sources of noise pollution around us, I believe people who want to protect themselves from noise of gun shots should wear earphones. I think people should be able to hear the noise of killing or maiming other people, animals or just the environment. Don’t make it easier to ignore the damage shooting does. Suppressing the sounds made by guns is NOT a constitutional issue. Reject this bill.

  30. Definitely NO to allowing gun suppressors.
    There can be no rational, sane reason for allowing them. All that would do would be to make guns more invisible.

  31. I would start with standardization of gun permit issue process. Who cares about silencers when there are artificial barriers to exercising your 2-nd Amendment rights in so many municipalities in MA?

  32. Senator Brownsberger,

    I support your opposition to silencers. They have no place in the Commonwealth.

    Thank you.

  33. Thank you for listening to us, your constituents.

    I totally agree with you Senator Brownsberger. The effort to make silencers acceptable only makes killing people easier.
    All of the reasons supportive of silencers are bogus. Isn’t the real reason for promoting silencers to sell more guns and paraphernalia?
    I grew up with hunting rifles and a shotgun. I would not count hearing issues as a problem as I did not fire the rifle excessively. The purpose of each shot was to get meat for the dinner table.

    Now, our country has lost its sanity in this mania for guns. Guns are no longer for providing food; they are for killing people and they do. Allowing silencers only further facilitates the killing of Americans.
    I urge you to stick firmly with your commonsense conviction and block any effort by the NRA and gun industry to make silencers in Massachusetts legal.
    Thanks for your willingness to swim against the NRA induced tide of emails and messages.

  34. Legalization of silencers should not happen, even though there is probably a black market for them.

  35. Please continue not to support this legislation. I fully agree with you that the urban dangers outweigh any added benefits for hunters.

  36. As usual, Will, you’ve summarized the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing silencers quite well. I agree with your analysis.

    I am opposed to legalizing silencers, and ask you to oppose their legalization.

    As a researcher in acoustics, I can confirm that shot location detection technology works better when the events (shots) it is trying to detect are higher amplitude. Reducing the amplitude of the target events reduces the range over which those events can be accurately detected, and the accuracy with which their location can be estimated. Silencers, of course, reduce the amplitude of gunshots (otherwise the argument vis-a-vis hearing loss would not make sense).

  37. Please count me in with your constituents who do NOT favor this legislation. Thank you.

  38. Two questions:

    What plausible non-criminal use is there for a silencer?

    What is the source of these emails — are they all identical?

  39. Will, over what period of time did you receive 1200 messages supporting silencers? Sounds to me like this was a coordinated letter writing campaign and probably does not represent a large segment of your constituents.

    Also, let’s not call them suppressors. Silencers is what most people know these as and suppressors is just a way to make the bill more obscure.

    1. Except that the correct term for them is “suppressors” and they don’t silence anything. Far from it.

  40. I agree, the prohibition should remain in place. Silenced gunshots make things far more difficult for law enforcement, and also for those of us in the community that need to hear the gunshots in order to call law enforcement in the first place.

  41. As a Boston resident I do not think it’s a good idea to have people walking around with silencers on their pistols. I can’t think of any compelling reason why any law abiding gun owner would want or need such a device.

  42. You’re absolutely right, Will. I back your decision to block these proposal. There is only one justification to use a suppressor (silencer) and that’s so other people can hear you killing.

  43. After the violence we’ve seen in Boston, just this week alone, we need MORE controls on guns, rather than less. (My college roommate was murdered by someone who bought a handgun on the street in D.C. so I know all too well how this carnage affects a family.) Why enact a law that law enforcement doesn’t support? Massachusetts has less gun violence than many other states, probably because we have stricter laws. Let’s keep it that way.Thanks for taking a strong stand against this bill.

  44. Dear God, no.

    However I would support legislation requiring full disclosure of all paid lobbying efforts behind each legislative proposal.

  45. I have a LTC and go to the range. Nonetheless, I don’t see the point in legalizing silencers. Who will that protect? What rights are protected? Regulation is not a bad word.

    1. Have you ever been to a range where they are in use? As a range officer, I know they only somewhat reduce the noise level to where it helps protect MY hearing … like having a muffler on your lawn mower engine.

  46. I am NOT in support of this. There is no reason for a silencer for someone using a gun. It ahould ve abundantly clear if someone uses one and if they are using them legally no reason to silence them. And if they are not using them legally, all the more reason not to have a silencer.

  47. Will, I agree with your conclusion. This is not about hearing loss for law-abiding gun owners, not when it makes it more difficult to detect gunshots in violent areas. They have enough problems without adding this.

    To the gun owners: It’s not always about you. We live in a broader society and need to prioritize our problems and solutions. Gun violence is a major problem in some areas, and it must be addressed before your hearing loss. Buy some ear protectors.

    Also, whose lobby is behind this?

  48. Suppressors do not by any means “silence” a firearm, but bring it down to a level that is safer for the operator. The Hollywood image of the assassin firing a whisper-quiet bullet into his target is just that: Hollywood. Suppressed firearms are still extremely loud, and “shot-spotter” system still have no issues locating them.

    This really is about hearing protection and the rights of law-abiding citizens.

  49. I am opposed to this proposal to allow gun silencers. Permitting silencers makes it easier to use guns for bad purposes. It’s a public safety issue. To the extent shooters are concerned about hearing damage from the noise of gunfire, good ear protection is available. And I don’t think there is a Second Amendment issue. The right to bear arms is not unlimited-there is no entitlement to to a firearms ID card or a license to carry. Continuing the ban on silencers is an entirely appropriate exercise of the Legislature’s authority.

  50. The loud noise a gun makes alerts everyone and that’s a good thing. Silencers weren’t created to save anyone’s ear discomfort. They were created to kill people silently. I would hope common sense prevails here. No law abiding citizen needs a silencer and law abiding citizens should understand the dangers silencers present to society.

  51. Allowing silencers would be.crazy!! Maybe we should all drive cars without horns. We are lucky to live in a state with strict gun control laws. This is no time to change.

    Clearly this a well planned campaign by the NRA to weaken our laws.

    MA should stand firmly against this and any other attempt to weaken our laws.

    Thanks for standing up for the majority who have now have so many outrageous things to oppose that some very bad ones get lost in the noise.
    Berl Hartman

    1. Berl,

      I think the more correct comparison would be – cars without mufflers, not horns. And that kind of changes the entire dynamic, doesn’t it?



      1. No, John, muffler-less vehicles are no comparison to suppressor-less firearms.

        Here’s why.

        Muffler-less vehicles can be nuisances, but loud engines are never a crime scene requiring public safety officers and ambulances to haul away victims of assault or murder.

        Suppressor-less guns, on the other hand, always consume officer resources, and often are involved in assault or murder.

  52. No on silencers.

    The “hearing loss” is nonsense, just an excuse to push for it.

  53. The criminals can get them anyway. If they WANTED to use them, they just would obtained from another state where they are legal to own. It also is VERY easy to manufacture single use (and sometimes a few more) silencers. Yet they are NEVER used in criminal activity. Why? Because a quick get away is easier and more effective than trying to hide the sound. Additionally Silencers reduce the sound level by only approx. 20-30 decibels. Meaning a firearm with a suppressor is now STILL louder than the Permissible Exposure Limits per OSHA for 1 hour of exposure. It would still be louder than a Harley, louder than a jackhammer. Contrary to what Hollywood would like you to believe, they do NOT make it relatively undetectable. But this reduction at least could save some hearing, since that PLUS the use of Hearing Protection will reduce you cumulative exposure.

  54. I am a MA resident, but am a range officer in a range just over the border in NH where some members do have noise suppressors. So called “Silencers” do NOT eliminate the noise as hollywood would have you believe. Think of it as the difference between running a lawn mower with and without a muffler. It is still plenty loud, but not in the “Permanently Damage My Hearing” range. Would you vote for legislation requiring everyone to remove the muffler from their mower or snow blower?

    They also help to make ranges better neighbors by doing our part to keep noise levels down.

  55. Although NOT a gun owner, I do support the 2nd amendment and a citizen’s right to own and use guns. However, I feel that it is imperative that government at ALL levels implement very strong gun control, like control over hand guns and automatic weapons of ALL kinds. Along with this kind of control my feeling is that there should also be regulations over gun silencers.

    Thank you: I support your position on this issue!

  56. As the sign says on the garage facing our direction, “WE’RE NOT ANTI-GUN, WE’RE FOR LIFE”. How do silencers possibly improve our life while anti-noise pollution legislation is lagging.

    As I write, the sounds of an un-muffled jackhammer on the Mass. Ave. bridge over Commonwealth Ave. is polluting our auditory environment. Why not address this all-pervasive human health issue rather than spend time and energy debating silencer proposals?

  57. This does seem like a huge challenge in tackling urban gun violence. Please do not support.

  58. Please support H763 and H789. Suppressors are physically large and will make guns hard to conceal and hard to use. Suppressors are like guns in that laws will not stop criminals from getting them. Laws against suppressors will only stop law-abiding citizens from getting them.

  59. Thank you for thoughtfully explaining your position; I agree with your conclusion to oppose the bills.

  60. People seemed to have covered all the arguments I would make against these bills except one: People legally protecting themselves or others with a gun would want to call as much attention to the incident as possible, to maximize the chance of a bystander calling the police. They would never want to use a silencer. (I’m picturing an armed security guard or someone else carrying a lot of money who is getting robbed. The robber might want a silencer, but the guard never would.)

    Also, calling the devices “suppressors” instead of “silencers”, even if technically correct, serves only to obscure the issues.

  61. I think it is way more important for everyone to hear a gunshot so they can protect themselves and call the police. I say no to legal silencers!

  62. I would like to hear from the other side as why they think silencers should be legal. What overwhelming benefit is there for everyone? The same policy applies to machine guns. Why can’t we have them? Because they are a threat to pretty much everyone and there’s no *need* for them. There’s no *need* for machine guns, just as there’s no *need* for silencers. Those people just *want* them. I had to explain the same thing for my nephew when he was 4: there’s a big difference between “want” and “need”. He didn’t need that new toy; he just wanted it. And you have to ask: What benefit is there to society if silencers were legal? At best, not much; at worse, I think crimes with guns would go up because there’s a better chance of getting away with it.

  63. I am definitely against silencers. Far too dangerous. And why is it a problem hunting? I don’t understand. And I agree, if hearing loss is a problem, wear protection. Or don’t shoot as often?

  64. I honestly understand both sides of this discussion, but in the end i have to side with repealing the ban on suppressors from an OSHA perspective. While those actively participating in shooting sports and activities have hearing protection, those of us in the surrounding area likely do not want to wear it in our every day lives.
    I disagree that it is common sense that making guns quieter will make it easier for people to commit murder as the sound has never seemed to affect the rates before. If a criminal wanted a quieter gun wouldn’t they just get a silencer from New Hampshire and drive across the boarder anyway? Also are they very expensive, can the common criminal even afford a $1,000 silencer? Is not like they are the guys in the movies in black suits driving Aston Martin’s.

    Back to sound quality: MA allows certified individuals to use firearms, this isn’t going to change. Why should we all have to be subject to obnoxious, some times anxiety exacerbating, sound pollution? I for one would rather this be a win win situation. Hunters/Shooters get to have their hobby and I get to enjoy my morning cup of coffee without hearing the local hunters rifle.

    I just wanted to add this, because i feel its important to show that high levels of noise can be detrimental to people’s health (whether they like shooting or not). OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 dBA for all workers for an 8 hour day. The OSHA standard uses a 5 dBA exchange rate. This means that when the noise level is increased by 5 dBA, the amount of time a person can be exposed to a certain noise level to receive the same dose is cut in half. (Quote taken from

    Thank you for listening!

  65. Dear Senator Brownsberger,

    I am in complete support of your position against the legalization of silencers. While the vast majority of those who own guns may well do so with benign intent, there are certain types of firearms and accessories that are particularly suited to the commission of crimes, and these include silencers. We also do not allow ready access to armor-piercing bullets, fully-automatic weapons, and rocket-propelled grenades, even though some law-abiding citizens might find them to be fun toys, specifically because they are well-suited for criminal activity. Let’s keep silencers on that very sensible list.

  66. Are we talking about silencers for all types of guns? In general I don’t see why people can’t just wear hearing protection, but admit I don’t fully understand the issue.

  67. Hi Will,

    I totally agree with you.
    I think the proposal to allow silencers is totally ridiculous. Next thing you know somebody will propose a bill to allow nuclear “packages” on board buses, trains and planes, while allowing a Geiger counter blocker!…and you’ll have to prove it’s not a good idea.
    I don’t envy your job Will, but I do like the way you are doing it.

  68. Please do not support legalizing gun silencers.

    I appreciate your thoughts and the consistent nature with which you connect with your constituents on the issues.

  69. Dear Senator
    I support your opposition to him silencers. Thank you for alerting me to this effort. And thanks for standing up to the gun lobby
    Eugene Warner

  70. If I were in my home and heard a gun shot I would have time to call the police and do something to protect myself and my family. If I were walking down the street to shop and a shop owner had been robbed and shot I could go into the shop and be killed as well. This is common sense Gun silencers would cause more harm than benefits if there are any. I support you common sense and commitment to keeping us safe.

  71. 1) So when seconds count, a legal gun bearer must take the time to put hearing blockers in his ears before he fires back?
    2) We should let the whole neighborhood, including babies and little old ladies, be disturbed by gun fire which in no way threatens them.
    3) Crimes will be committed with or without silencers–duh. Makes no difference to the criminal.

  72. It is madness to allow silencers on guns. I’ve been a shooter since age 14, a hunter in my early years, former Sgt. Military Police, a member of rifle and pistol teams, a member of gun clubs. THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE NEED FOR CIVILIAN-OWNED SILENCERS. The rationale used by proponents is a phoney, simply another farfetched reach by the NRA to chip away at all gun restrictions across the country.

  73. I thoroughly agree with your analysis.

    I too was unpersuaded by the assertion, during testimony, that automated gunshot detectors would be just as able to pick up suppressed gunshots — the whole point of suppressors is to make the sound quieter. Far more plausible was the testimony that hearing gunshots can help people know to duck, hide, or run.

    The public health issue of hearing loss for recreational shooters who don’t want to wear hearing protection is far outweighed by the public safety issue of protecting people from being killed or maimed by gunfire.

  74. Will-

    I’m a US Marine Corps veteran (2000-2008) who served in Iraq. There is no practical or legal/constitutional argument to be made for legalizing silencers. These are implements that are used during covert military operations. I’ll go one step further: unlawful possession of a silencer should be a felony.

  75. Will,

    Thanks for asking! I find the idea of gun silencers dangerous and unsupportable. I can’t even begin to imagine a good reason for having them. The only thing that comes to mind is protecting hearing at a shooting range–something that I’m sure a good set of ear protection can accomplish. Why are we not listening to our policemen on gun control? Why would we make their jobs of keeping us safe that much more difficult to do?

  76. This bill is madness. We should not support silencers and hearing protection is a pathetic red herring. Those notes are directly of NRA-ILA.

    I support gun ownership, especially of rifles and shotguns. I find that in an urbanized society, even justifying handgun ownership based on the 2nd amendment is weak.

    Thank you for your common sense response.

    1. Pretty ironic statement from someone who pretends to support gun ownership. By the way they are suppressors not silencers. To much movie watching I guess.

  77. Hi Will,

    I totally support your position on this bill. I am sorry to hear about hearing loss issues that come from shooting, but deciding to own a gun and use it is a personal choice. Thus it’s up to them to figure out how best to protect their hearing and there are many viable solutions. I don’t want any law that makes it more difficult for our officers to do their already challenging jobs.

  78. Will –
    I could not agree more with your position on silencers. The argument that “lawful gun users are not committing crimes” is nothing more than a definition. In addition to the problem of silencers getting out of “lawful” hands once they are in circulation, there’s the fact that silencers may make it easier and potentially more tempting for lawful gun users to become unlawful users. Allowing silencers would be similar to removing serial numbers – making unlawful gun activity harder to track, and harder to distinguish from lawful behavior both before the fact and after. I grew up with guns and hunting and never had or even saw a silencer; they are not part of reasonable, lawful gun use.

  79. Will:

    This is just another NRA sanctioned campaign to bring more guns, ammo and gun-related devices into all communities in the US.

    The second amendment does not provide for the unlimited availability of guns with or without silencers. Advocacy for silencers as a Second Amendment right is simple BS.

    The 1926 law should remain in-place and the legislature should work to reduce further gun availability in this state. Otherwise the NRA-driven madness will increase further the epidemic of gun-related deaths in the US.

  80. NO SILENCERS!!!!!!! ONLY people doing things they shouldn’t want this bill.

  81. Guns don’t kill people. People who have bumper stickers that say “Guns Don’t Kill People” kill people.

  82. What is the rational reason for this? Cannot be helpful to police or public safety. The letter supporting this, change notes the second amendment., which I recall begins with the words a “well regulated militia.” And Scalia’s. arguments in Heller noted the need for regulations although it was not spelled out. Second Ammendment has no bearing in this debate.But public safety does and I do not see how this proposal accomplishes this goal.

    1. George Mason, one of the Virginians who refused to sign the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights, said: “Who are the Militia? They consist now of the whole people.” Likewise, the Federal Farmer, one of the most important Anti-Federalist opponents of the Constitution, referred to a “militia, when properly formed, [as] in fact the people themselves.”

  83. I’m a physician and an avid recreational and competition shooter. I shoot several thousands of rounds a year.
    Most of the comments here seem to be driven by emotion with little regard to the facts regarding suppressors.
    Shooting a handgun with a mounted suppressor is still EXTREMELY loud. A rifle is louder still. There is no hiding the audible report of a suppressed firearm, even from several hundred yards away. If your only experience with suppressors are “Hollywood silencers” then you should probably not interject yourselves into this discussion.

    1. Excellently put Doctor! Nice to hear some sanity once in a awhile. Especially when it comes to making law that we all have to live by. The ignorance by those making comments and especially our “law Makers” is astonishing. I could of told you where 99% of the State legislators would come down on this issue before they heard any testimony. Its insane that we are making law based on what people see in the movies or strict adherence to an ideology. I hope people wake up some day. Have a great day

      1. Doctor Schmocter, Why does J.J. Lee have to tell us he’s a doctor, except to flaunt his arrogance.

        He reminds me of Dr. Walter Palmer

  84. Dear Senator, Please do not vote for either bill. This time of polarized and polarizing opinion on many topics has moved me to “try to see the wisdom of this proposed legislation.” I have read all the pro’s and con’s in your column. And I have canvassed the hunters in my extended family both inside MA and beyond. They and I see danger in hunting, urban, and suburban situations. Thank you for your vigilance on this issue.

  85. Please do not back down on your opposition to the legalization of gun silencers. If we can’t keep guns and ammunition out of the hands of murderers how can we expect to keep the gun silencers out of their hands? I can only imagine how many gunshot victims will drop in a crowded setting before the cause and direction of the shots fired are known. Common sense measures for the health and safety of the public must take precedence over the ease and comfort of individual law abiding gun owners.

  86. Let’s silence the planes first.

    Next, after silencers for guns. Let’s allow arming of personal drones, silent ones. Then those wanting to target practice don’t even have to hold the gun in hand.

  87. I totally support your position on this issue. I was astonished at the idea. I am writing to make sure that you hear from what I think would be the majority opinion.

  88. I am a licensed firearm owner and I regularly use them at my clubs range. Firearms of almost any caliber will produce more than 140 dB when discharged. Exposure to noise greater than 140-dB can permanently damage hearing. The noise level produced by firearms discharge in an indoor range is greatly magnified. Adequate hearing protection is required at all times. I would most definitely use a noise suppressor if they were available. If they are sold in MA, they should be regulated exactly the same as all firearms. They should only be permitted for sale to licensed firearms owners and should be serialized and recorded to the owner the same as any firearm sold in the state. If they are lost, stolen or transferred in ownership, then the suppressor should require the same strict adherence to the laws as a firearm. The vast majority of the crimes being committed with firearms in MA are with illegal ones brought into this state from outside sources. Make no mistake, MA has some of the very strictest firearms laws in the country. Most people in this state do not know how restrictive they really are because they are not familiar with the laws. Almost any violation of MA firearm laws will result in a felony offense with the most serious consequences. If the courts would fully enforced the laws already in place, I know we would have far less illegal firearms on the street. Possession of an illegal firearm is a felony and should always result in full prosecution under the law.

    1. You can’t intelligently argue that (1) possession of an unauthorized silencer “would” be punishable by law while also admitting that (2) even current laws aren’t adequately enforced.

      Any device that encourages unlawful firearm usage, hinders detection, and facilitates escape doesn’t benefit society in any measurable way when compared to the carnage of assault and murder caused by law-breakers who all to often are spur-of-the-moment, crime-of-passion fanatics acting on the crudest of impulses.

      1. Ned, if suppressors helped encourage crimes of passion or encourages crime in any way, shape or form, then the 42 states that have legalized suppressors would surely know. Suppressors are an NFA (National Firearms Act) regulated item. In the past 10 years there has been about 1 crime committed by ANY NFA-regulated item. You have been watching too many Hollywood movies.

        The fact of the matter is that any criminal who wanted to be bothered to “suppress” their gunshots could EASILY go out and buy a fram oil filter and stick it on their threaded barrel for $30. The fact that they don’t shows that they have no desire to.

        1. On any topic as reckless and lethal as firearm suppressors, I respect the wisdom and experience of law enforcement experts, not movies, hobbyists, lobbyists, or hunters for whom shooting is “fun.”

          The real world experiences of peace officers easily trounce your selective and misleading statistics.

          The fact that people CAN but DON’T buy automotive oil filters and CAN but DON’T adapt them to work as firearm noise suppressors is irrelevant.

          What is relevant is what law enforcement officials say: shooters using firearms with pre-installed suppressors are harder to detect, track, trace, and apprehend.

          1. There are many law enforcement officials who would also like to make it far easier to wire tap, search your phone and monitor your internet usage.

      2. Why not? If you were to be found by a law enforcement officer in the state of MA with a single round of ammunition in your pocket and you did not have a firearm license, you would have serious problems.
        The unlawful possession of ammunition is a crime governed by M.G.L 269 section 10 (h). This law makes the unlawful carrying of ammunition a criminal offense that is punishable by up to two years in the house of corrections or a fine of up to $500.
        The laws are in place. They are more than strict enough to deter non-compliance. Its lack of full enforcement by so many judges in the court system that’s the problem.

  89. I am in full agreement with your position as stated. Thanks for taking a clear and firm position and, at the same time, not vilifying those who think differently.

  90. Thank you for your firm opposition to this. I agree with your position that MA should not legalize gun silencers.

  91. There is ONE — and ONLY ONE — reason to silence a firearm: to commit crime and escape detection.

    Claiming that only “lawful” users will use them does not avoid the ugly truth that any lawful user can become an unlawful user in an instant.

    No lawful citizen needs such a law, and all of society is better off without it.

  92. I agree Will – think your response to the mass mailing was too polite. I qualified on the M-1 rifle in the army, and I know what the noise is like – not enough to affect hearing if used occasionally as in hunting. People have been hunting with guns for a few hundred years. Trap shooting with shotguns has been going on for a hundred years. That makes the current thing about silencers look ridiculous. You’re welcome to to forward the above text to anyone.

  93. There is no good argument for it. Being a law enforcement officer is hard enough as it. We don’t need to make it harder. No on Silencers.

  94. I agree with you Will. I hope you will not feel compelled to support silencers.

  95. Hobbyists and hunters who worry that their pastime is ruining their hearing should realize the obvious truth, and consider a healthier pastime.

    Any animal that gets shot in its vital organs — and then bleeds to death — suffers just as much as any human in similar circumstances. The pain and fear are excruciating, intolerable, and inhumane. Except for herd control measures under trained wildlife experts to reduce starvation, there is no moral justification for hunting defenseless creatures to their death this way.

    Calling hunting a “food-gathering” and “a hobby” and “a sport” and “entertainment” is the most extreme case of euphemism and hypocrisy.

    1. Mr. Flaherty obviously thinks the steer that provided his last steak dinner felt no pain or fear before it was hygeinically packaged in styrofoam and plastic wrap for him to purchase.

      I am fairly certain that the hunter has a much better understanding about food and its origins than does Mr. Flaherty. He may wish to reconsider his “extreme case of euphemism and hypocrisy” crack.

      1. It’s precisely because of the pain and fear suffered by animals at slaughter that I stopped eating flesh foods decades ago, and never resumed.

        For people who lack the humanity to stop murdering animals, there are other overwhelming reasons to do so.

        1. Animal-based foods worsen climate change.
        2. Animal-based foods hasten human extinction (from climate change).
        3. Planet Earth can support far more people eating plants than it can people eating animals.
        4. Animal-based foods consume far more land, water, energy, and other resources than plant-based foods.
        5. Farmable land and drinkable water are increasingly causing modern civil unrest and wars.

        1. Definition of murder: The unlawful killing of a human being. We do not murder cattle ( unless you belong to PETA) Your nonsense is right out of the PETA manual Page 17

    2. The NRA receives about 85% of its funding from members. The remaining 15% does, in part, come from gun manufacturers. However, if you polled the members, I’m quite sure they’d be happy about that other 15%. After all, gun owners and gun manufacturers have a rather symbiotic relationship. Gun owners can’t own guns if none are manufactured.

      Next “gun violence”, as it’s typically reported is made up of 33K deaths which includes 2/3 suicides. If you reduce that number but the overall suicide rate remains the same, was there any benefit (simply because the suicide wasn’t by gun)?

      Looking at the remaining, which is murders, the vast majority of that is due to inner city gang violence. Bans on suppressors aren’t going to help solve that problem one iota.

  96. Changing the law won’t make suppressors any easier to purchase. They are federally regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Purchase of EVERY SINGLE suppressor must be approved by the ATF and requires a $200 federal “tax stamp” above and beyond the cost of the suppressor itself.

    You simply want not find these things on the street corner.

    As for making them “quieter,” well, that’s relative. The real world is not Hollywood where they are portrayed as making a “whiff.” In the real world, a “silenced” pistol is still about as loud as a jet taking off from Logan. Check with MassPort for the list of complaints from the residents of East Canbridge or Winthrop if you want to understand how loud that is.

  97. Automobiles have suppressors, they are called mufflers,and you can still hear them coming down the road. Law enforcement have no problem finding automobiles. In most of Europe it is customary that you use a suppressor to target shoot and hunt. Senator Brownsberger, Have you ever fired a weapon with a suppressor attached? If you did, you would know that the sound is moderated, not eliminated. Suppressors are legal to possess in 41 states. With alot of Jumping through federal hoops

  98. They are actually called Suppressors because they suppress the noise to hearing safe levels not silencers. They far from silence a handgun or rifle. I all the Hyperbole about how this will allow people to use a gun undetected. Balderdash! You really should learn something about what you are talking about before commenting. By the way people just ever so slightly to our north in NH and many other states allow suppressors and there is no evidence of them increasing crime or that criminal use them when committing crimes.

    Wake up people!

  99. I heard Chief Ryan speak strongly about not supporting silencers aka suppressors as by decreasing the noise it will make it harder to get to the scene of a crime quickly (if the gunshot isn’t heard) and in one recent case near Alewife, save a life. And I heard another individual suggest we support the manufacturers of ear protectors rather than silencers. I own a pair of ear protectors and they work well. Silencers support getting away with shooting something or someone so I applaud your decision.

  100. I am strongly opposed to silencers. The arms our founding fathers were defending were muskets, not automatic weapons. I am greatly concerned about the gun violence in our country and the impact it has on the lives of women and children.

    1. Correction – suppressors not silencers. The founding fathers were talking about firearms in common use at the time. Today we have more modern firearms in common use.
      Should we apply your logic of what was available at the time the amendments were written to all other amendments and laws ?
      Do you really think they had no expectation that newer and better things would be developed into the future even during their lifetime.

      Wake up people!

    2. Using this argument, you could say that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to things written on computers, since they didn’t exist at the time it was written. It’s a fallacy.

      1. I dont think James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington intended our Democracy to be beholden to special interests like the gun lobby who use industry money to lobby for unpopular legislation. I want to feel secure walking unarmed down the streets in any American town. I don’t, and that is because our governments unlike nearly every other country in the world has allowed the plague of gun violence to take over our communities. The gun lobby in the name of patriotism feeds an insatiable paranoia that undermines the security and safety of our citizens. So please, save us your constitutional sophistries.

        1. The NRA receives about 85% of its funding from members. The remaining 15% does, in part, come from gun manufacturers. However, if you polled the members, I’m quite sure they’d be happy about that other 15%. After all, gun owners and gun manufacturers have a rather symbiotic relationship. Gun owners can’t own guns if none are manufactured.

          Next “gun violence”, as it’s typically reported is made up of 33K deaths which includes 2/3 suicides. If you reduce that number but the overall suicide rate remains the same, was there any benefit (simply because the suicide wasn’t by gun)?

          Looking at the remaining, which is murders, the vast majority of that is due to inner city gang violence. Bans on suppressors aren’t going to help solve that problem one iota.

  101. Dear Senator, I do agree with your logic and conclusion. The input from police enforcement is indeed the higher concern and also considering reasonable alternatives are available to sportsmen. Nicely stated!

    As always, with thanks for your request for my input, best regards! Phil Stefanini

  102. I agree that quieter guns would help criminals, and do NOT support legalizing gun silencers. There is already too much gun violence in the USA to risk this.

  103. Please oppose H 763 and H 789. Legalizing firearm silencers is a threat to the public health.

  104. How many of the emotionally based responses here are offered by the very same people that complain about long established legal gun ranges being too loud in an effort to get them closed down? You guys hit all the buzz words without ever actually touching a fact, lol… well done.

  105. I agree with and support your POV on this topic. Silencers aren’t going to solve any of our city’s / state’s gun violence problem and I can’t think of any reason they would be beneficial in any circumstance.

    So, please do not vote to pass House 763 and House 789 to repeal G.L., s.10A.

    1. I am opposed to House bill 763 and 789, G.L. S10A. Please vote against them.
      Ethel Hamann

  106. Hello,
    I understand about protecting hearing, and I think it’s very important to advocate for appropriate gear to protect hearing. However, I do not think silencers are necessary nor appropriate for our communities here in MA. I think it is too dangerous and puts too many at risk. I urge you to maintain your stance against legalizing silencers.
    Thank you

  107. Senator,

    Your email seems to indicate that you have already made up your mind on the matter. I am not sure why you are soliciting input.

    Sherif Hashem

  108. I agree with your assessment as summarized above.
    Furthermore, I would like to add that NO ONE except for law enforcement should have access or possession of guns at all, especially the kinds of guns that could use silencers.

  109. Dear Senator Brownsberger:

    For years hunters have gotten by with cotton stuffed in their ears or noise suppressing headgear. The idea that the silencers are needed for protection is pure flapdoodle.

    Is ALEC sneaking into the State House? Several southern states are now legalizing silencers using the same argument that they are needed by hunters. Both Texas and Oklahoma have passed legislation using the canned wording provided by ALEC. Now, coming from Texas, and I love it with all my heart, but the Lege has some certifiable dimwits in its hallowed halls.

  110. For hunters, not hearing a gun could pose a problem for other hunters in the area. This bill, at best, is unnecessary, and at worst, could lead to countless new deaths.

  111. I completely agree with your stand on this question: No to legalizing gun silencers.
    Thank you, Will, for once again seeking the views of your constituents. (And I agree with those who suspect that the 1000+ emails you got were surely orchestrated by the NRA.)

  112. These “generated’ letters do not provide any valid reason for legalizing suppressors. The vital phrase in the letter is : “law-abiding citizens”. We can’t even enforce the laws we have to protect people from gunshots. (NYTimes 6/13/16): “In the United States, the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people — the equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year.” Too many guns, too many deaths. Suppressors are beside the point and do NOT need to be made legal and more accessible. “Stick to your guns” (!) and vote NO. Thank you for your thoughtful analysis!

  113. No way! If you give an inch, they will take a mile. To me this legislation has the stink of outside interest groups lobbying for something that citizens in our state do not and would not support. Just say no!

  114. Absolutely I am against legalizing silencers. I completely agree that there are other ways to protect ears and silencers are potentially very effective weapons of crime, particularly murder. As far as I know the point of silencers is to make gun shots harder to detect. The job of keeping our streets and homes safe is hard enough as it is.

  115. I am totally against this legislation, and fully support you. Feels like the NRA is biting at our Massachusetts heels. And for what? Noise pollution? I think not.

  116. I agree with your perspective. Safety first
    for law enforcement and law abiding citizens.

  117. No, we do not need to make silencers legal. Thank you for your no vote. Judge Severlin Singleton (retired)

  118. dear will: I am in total support of your position which wld NOT allow guns with silencers to be purchased in MA; in addition, I believe that individuals with serious mental health issues shld NOT be allowed to buy guns & in fact, many if not most of the most shocking deaths by guns hv been committed by inds w/mental health issues….i.e. the massacre of 23 school children in CN, Gabby Gifford, & many many more just recently in the news in MA; thank you for having the courage to stand up against this proposal ……Helen cox

  119. I agree. I too have sympathy for those who want to protect their hearing, but gun owners have
    other ways of protecting their hearing, though less convenient.

    This sets their convenience against everyone’s public safety.

  120. In principal I agree with your stance not to approve silencers.

    NB: I haven’t thought very much about this, so I don’t know if my suggestion below makes any sense.

    Would it make sense to allow silencers to be used only at firing ranges? I could see that helping people protect their hearing while limiting their use generally.

    However, would allowing ANY use open the door to flooding the market and thus making these devices available more widely and illegally?

    1. No. The ATF treats suppressors as strictly as they treat machine guns. If a person wants to own a suppressor, they have to, essentially, get permission from the ATF for every one they buy and that permission takes 6mo or more.

      Further, MA already requires a license to own a gun. That process is supposed to take 40 days by statute, but it often takes far more than that.

      I’m sorry to say, your comment here is indicative of how little understanding there is about gun laws.

  121. I don’t even understand the argument supporting silencers at all – Legal shooters should use hearing protection.

    I guess it’s nice when there’s an easy choice.

  122. It’s worth noting that many have said that law enforcement is against this. Specifically, that law enforcement is a few urban chiefs of police. Throughout the state, most chiefs of police actually give unrestricted LTCs those that apply and meet the criteria.

    “Unrestricted” means that people who have these LTCs can conceal carry a pistol. If these people are trusted to conceal carry a handgun out in public, not trusting them with a suppressor (which they wouldn’t be concealed carrying) is ridiculous.

  123. Will, I agree with both your reasoning and your conclusion with regard to silencers. I can conceive of no legitimate purpose served by making handguns quiet. I also wanted to voice my concerns about some legislation I heard described on NPR this a.m. re stun guns (apparently being proposed by C. Garry — my son’s Rep.) My sense is that such devices can, in fact, be dangerous to the person “stunned,” and I’m not comfortable with expanded vigilantism. — Helen G.

  124. Please hold the line on this important public safety issue. The sound of gunshots warn others in the area to take cover, and help the police identify where the shots are coming from. If a legal gun holder makes a legal shot and the police come to check them out they have nothing to worry about.

    Thank you for representing us so well!

  125. I agree with your thinking so far Will, and I hope you will vote No on H.763 and H.789. Keep public safety first. Thank you.

  126. The principal argument I have heard for allowing “silencers” is that some gun owners and hunters sometimes fail to use sensible hearing protection. Their foolishness is not a compelling reason to overrule the legitimate concerns of law enforcement officers and the general public. Loosening the restrictions on “silencers” is a bad idea, and sustaining the restrictions is not an encroachment on anyone’s Second Amendment rights.

  127. I totally support your position on this issue, Will. You’ve articulated the arguments against legalizing gun silencers clearly and forcefully. The fact you received 1200 emails in a week – on the same subject – as well as the language of the emails, suggest that your office has become the target of a concerted gun lobby campaign.

  128. Will – thanks for your thoughtful comments. Mine are simply “Good Grief Charlie Brown!” We really can’t make urban shooting quieter… we need to make it go away.

  129. Sane people need to know just one fact: the NRA (National Rifle Association) that’s lobbying for firearm suppressors is the same NRA which never stops lobbying to put one gun in the hands of every school-age child.

    Every. School-age. Child.

  130. I completely agree with your conclusions and appreciate the thoroughness of your decision process. Thanks for keeping us so well informed and for taking well-considered stands on important issues.

  131. I agree with you, Will.. The above letter from a supporter of the repeal does not give any justification for the repeal, and that is probably because it is hard to come up with convincing reasons for a repeal.

    A barage of emails of the same ilk does not a case make.

    Please vote no. Thanks.

  132. I agree with you. Perhaps in a rural setting,where hunting is a way of life, but not in MA. Wear ear protection when using a gun for legal purposes.

  133. Silencers mask the terrible process of killing and maiming. First we have the secret of gun ownership, carrying guns secretly in public, and now the bill to silence them. People deserve to know how guns are being used in this state. Automatic weapons are not necessary for protection outside of the movies and military, or for hunting. Silencers are dangerous and another false equivalent in a no restrictions policy which is dead wrong–and not even envisioned by the Founders.

  134. Silencers should not be legal.
    Only properly registered guns should be legal.

  135. Please do not vote for this legislation. Horrible idea. Too many guns on the streets already, there isn’t any reason to make it easier to harm people.

  136. I’m entirely in agreement with you, Will: silencers should be suppressed.

  137. Gun Silencers:
    This is crazy!
    So we want criminals to be even more invisible. The people who support this have no common sense!
    They could be used as target practice and nobody would know. What exactly is supposed to be the advantage to silencers????!!!!

  138. Silencers should be illegal with the possible exception of law inforcement officers.

  139. Neither law should be passed. Period. Yes Police would find FINDING gunners and shooting’s in neighborhoods very difficult to locate where the gunner was and such criminals would rapidly adopt silencers to kill without being caught. WHERE do these nuts come up with this stuff? An argument for hunting rifles? No. No animal can react that fast to a bullet aimed at them so silencers on such, pointless.

  140. We dont want silencers! We want to hear the shot around the world. Michael and Elisabeth Lay

  141. The only people who need silencers are assassins or the Cosa Nostra. The number of deaths by firearms is horrific enough, but enabling guns to shoot silently — let’s have a little common sense here. Isn’t “conceal carry” bad enough? The violence produced by guns is the problem. Needing “silencers” is not.
    Vote NO.

  142. Mufflers are legal in 42 states with no measured effect on crime. The ATF/FBI/DoJ statistics indicate 15 or less crimes per year are committed in the entire country with mufflers.

    In the United Kingdom, where firearms are far more regulated to the point of a near total ban, the use of mufflers isn’t just legal but encouraged. It’s considered polite and proper there.

    I am greatly disappointed in the fearful ignorance and soft bigotry displayed by my fellow residents of the commonwealth in the absurd belief that somehow our state is less civilized than the majority of the country, or my former Queen’s dominion, and that legalization will lead to unfettered barbarism perpetrated by our fellow citizenry.

  143. I am vehementally OPPOSED to silencers. And I think guns should be banned. All guns. Have ranges and parks for gun users to rent guns

  144. I am OPPOSED to silencers. And I think guns should be banned. All guns. Have ranges and parks for gun users to rent guns

    1. Well than you can go move to a country whos government took all the peoples guns and let me know how well there doing over there.
      Ps im sure when some of the jewish were hurdled into caddle cars before they were burned alive thought they hadnt turned there arms in. Pick up a history book barbara!

  145. I definitely do NOT support legalizing silencers. They have few legitimate civilian uses and would be a boon to criminals.

    1. I got your response above in my email. 42 states allow suppressors to be legally owned for a reason. Your personal reasons Senator, should have no bearing on your support or decision to not support the bill. If it is something the people want, then it should be allowed. I am not buying the hype about criminals arming themselves with heavy cumbersome silencers being a problem. I don’t know why I am wasting my time with this, this state is clearly a lost cause. All you liberals will get what you deserve if you give up your freedoms.

      1. I hear New Hampshire is very nice and there are lots of places where you can shoot living things. MA has a lot of people (not necessarily liberals who despise our own freedoms. . . I think I have a right to hear a gun shot) who are not intimidated by the NRA. Including Senator Brownsberger.

        1. A suppressor will not stop you from hearing the shot(stop thinking Hollywood) it will suppress the noise to protect peoples hearing as ear protection is not always effective. If any of the anti gun crowd were the least bit educated on the subject they comment on, you may realize this. It is sad that the officials we elect do not represent us, they say they listen but control us instead. The NRA is not about intimidation.

  146. Thank you, Will.

    If someone is shooting, I want to know it — both in my neighborhood and in a public place (such as a school). The faster we are aware, the faster we can call the police to intervene if need be.

    And when in the woods, too, I want to know if someone’s shooting. Many of us don’t make a point of wearing orange when in the woods — assuming the visibility isn’t blocked by trees or thickets.

    BTAW — I question the bona fides of people who suggest you should be unseated over this issue!

  147. Will, please hold to your stand on this. Gun owners are “organized” and are primed to speak out on all issues which concern guns.

  148. Will
    I support your stance
    It would be inappropriate with the number of gun violence cases we have to do anything that would potentially increase it. This is a NRA trogen horse and needs to be stopped
    Gene Record

  149. No, no, no! No silencers! This is unsafe for citizens and law enforcement! Legitimate hunters should use ear protection that actually works! It’s another ploy by the gun lobby that makes us all less safe.

  150. Right. Urban and rural citizens have very different relations to guns and noise highlights that difference. If a gun is going off in my neighborhood I want to know as much as possible about whatever is going on, including the direction of the gun being fired
    and how near it is to me. If it was possible to make guns louder that would be even better. Rural people don’t care about these issues. I understand that but on this issue I hope they will cut us some slack.

  151. There is no good reason rouse a silencer. I absolutely object. God forbid someon attempt a mass shooting with a silencer, the carnage would be far worse if no one heard anything!.

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