Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

Suppressors, the firearm accessory called a “silencer” by those who wish to see them remain tightly regulated, have become a sort of boogeyman for those wishing to control and limit access to both guns and suppressors. In spite of the widespread vilification of the devices, the Spokane, Wash., Police Department has chosen to equip every single AR-15 within their responsibility with a suppressor to protect the hearing of their officers and bystanders.

Most people likely don’t consider hearing safety to be a primary concern for law-enforcement officers. But it is of great concern to the officers and any civilians that may be near a firearm in use by the police. A suppressor doesn’t actually silence the gun; it merely muffles the sound and reduces muzzle flash. Lt. Rob Boothe, range master and lead firearm instructor for the Spokane Police Department, told The Spokesman Review that the accessory is analogous to a common car part: “It’s nothing more than like the muffler you put on your car.”

The Spokane PD has 181 service rifles in its inventory; using suppressors on them has the potential to reduce workers compensation claims and lawsuits from bystanders. The sound of a firearm’s discharge has been likened to the engine noise of a jet at takeoff. That’s a ton of noise for an unsuspecting bystander to withstand without proper warning.

Concerned citizens have raised questions about the amount of sound that is reduced by suppressors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets the bar at which people experience hearing damage at 140 decibels, the discharge of the type of rifle used by Spokane PD measures at 152 decibels. The suppressor in use by SPD reduces that to 134 decibels—just under the OSHA safety level. The sound emitted from those rifles will still be louder than that of a chainsaw.

The Spokane PD has 181 service rifles in its inventory; using suppressors on them has the potential to reduce workers compensation claims and lawsuits from bystanders. The sound of a firearm’s discharge has been likened to the engine noise of a jet at takeoff. That’s a ton of noise for an unsuspecting bystander to withstand without proper warning.

This action not only makes sense, it’s recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). ATF waives the $200 tax that is required of individuals seeking to purchase a suppressor and expedites the requests of law enforcement agencies.

“There’s this Hollywood mystique,” Boothe said, explaining why more civilians don't support the use of suppressors. The current furor over proposed legislative changes that would make suppressors easier to purchase is nothing more than fearmongering by individuals who haven’t taken the time to inform themselves on what the device can and cannot do. A suppressor cannot “silence” a firearm. It can only reduce the sound and muzzle flash, and suppress the concussive impact of each shot.

Boothe went on to properly categorize suppressors, describing them as “an OSHA-approved noise-reduction device.” He’s right; this truly is a safety issue. According to B. Gil Hormanwriting at americanrifleman.org, “The second element of a firearm's report is the pressure wave created by the rapid expansion of propellant gases produced when a cartridge's powder charge ignites.” Horman goes on to describe the “bang” that routinely associated with gunfire: “As these hot, fast-moving gases collide with the cool, slow-moving air around the muzzle of the gun, they produce the familiar ‘bang’ associated with shooting. It's this portion of a gun’s noise that suppressors are designed to reduce.” This lessens the thud or pounding noise to the ears and chest of those near the discharging weapon. Again, the use of suppressors is to increase the safety of the user and any persons nearby.

Spokane PD plans to do an informational outreach program to apprise the public of the reasons for the suppressor purchases and benefits of their use. Suppressor use is not, and has never been, about making guns silent to shield the public from their use. It’s about protecting the hearing of shooters, whether law enforcement officers or average citizens.

BY Stacy Washington

Stacy Washington is a decorated Air Force veteran, Emmy-nominated TV personality and host of nationally syndicated radio program “Stacy on the Right,” based in St. Louis. She loves God, guns, and is a member of the NRA, obviously.

TRENDING NOW
Students “School” Antigun Education Officials on Civil Rights, Receive Large Settlements in Court Cases

News  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Students “School” Antigun Education Officials on Civil Rights, Receive Large Settlements in Court Cases

Last September we reported on the saga of Ka'Mauri Harrison, a Louisiana elementary school student who was suspended for having a BB gun that happened to come into view while the fourth grader was participating in online ...

Canada’s Gun Confiscation Scheme: Still More Questions than Answers

News  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Canada’s Gun Confiscation Scheme: Still More Questions than Answers

On June 29, Yves Giroux, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer, released a report on the estimated cost of implementing the firearm confiscation (“buyback”) program that is part of the sweeping Order-in-Council announced by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Keith Olbermann Revealed as Functional Illiterate

News  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Keith Olbermann Revealed as Functional Illiterate

Tired crank Keith Olbermann reached a new low in weak-minded rhetoric in recent months with his doltish insight into the Second Amendment. According to the former MSNBC bloviator, the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right ...

Louisiana: Betrayal at the Capitol

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Louisiana: Betrayal at the Capitol

Yesterday, SB 118, Constitutional Carry, was defeated due to several Senators reversing their initial vote of support on the bill.  Two of the Senators who flip-flopped were Senators Patrick Connick (SD-8) and Louie Bernard (SD-31). 

Research Update: It’s [Still] Not the Guns

News  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Research Update: It’s [Still] Not the Guns

Much has changed since last summer. In July 2020, notoriously anti-gun researchers circulated a paper that alleged an association between what they deemed “excess” gun purchases early in the pandemic and violence. This year, the same ...

Forty-Three Amicus Briefs Filed In Support OF NRA-ILA Backed Second Amendment Case Before Supreme Court

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Forty-Three Amicus Briefs Filed In Support OF NRA-ILA Backed Second Amendment Case Before Supreme Court

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. And just last week, NRA-ILA filed the opening brief in this crucial case, which is located here.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

A week after he told voters that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect “a magazine with a hundred clips in it,” 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden offered supporters more of his singular brand of anti-gun ...

NRA-ILA Applauds Rep. Claudia Tenney and U.S. House of Representatives’ Amicus Brief Supporting Second Amendment Case Before Supreme Court

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

NRA-ILA Applauds Rep. Claudia Tenney and U.S. House of Representatives’ Amicus Brief Supporting Second Amendment Case Before Supreme Court

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. NRA-ILA’s opening brief is located here.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.