Article on silencer prosecutions
In the Western Criminology Review. Basically, the conclusion is that most silencer prosecutions are for simple possession; when charges involve possession in connection with crime, it's usually a drug offense. Prosecutions for use in a violent offense are almost zero.
The point he ultimately makes is that sentencing should reflect this Instead, the Federal sentencing guidelines call for two year's minimum imprisonment for first-offense possession, and if possessed in connection with crime, a separate provision mandates a 30 year, consecutive, minimum, without parole -- a sentence exceeding many jurisdiction's punishment for 2nd degree murder, and far exceeding their punishments for forcible rape.
One error I noticed in the article: Texas doesn't ban silencers per se, it just makes them illegal unless they're federally registered. Quite a few states do this.
Posted by: CleverNickname at March 31, 2008 07:42 PM
They should be legal in all states and if a transfer tax is deemed necessary, it should only be $5.00 like it is for an AOW. Plus, the police unions should get off their bums and get cans to determined necessary equipment for police - if it saves one eardrum, it will be worth it.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at March 31, 2008 07:46 PM
I was going to say, Texas follows the same path as Florida on silencers, only banning them if they are not owned in accordance with federal law.
This is an outstanding idea for an article and I'm jealous that I didn't think of the idea myself.
Posted by: Jim W at March 31, 2008 09:25 PM
Letalis Maximus has a good point. Shooting has always been a noisy sport, and quite a few ranges have been closed by noise complaints - and many others are either under direct threat or are desperately buying buffer land. Deregulating suppressors, or at least removing them from the NFA, would be a good way to solve a lot of noise pollution issues.
A question arises...if we win Heller, does the right to keep & bear arms also extend to a right to practice with those arms? With an obligation to practice in a safe manner that minimizes impact to neighbors? And (the punch line) do not the regulations on suppressors interfere with the safe and considerate practice with firearms?
Posted by: Mike M. at April 1, 2008 06:51 AM
Sort of a followup to Mike's question, is the ban on silencers a ban on a 'class' of weapon (the 'silenced' class)?
As has been stated many times before, in many places, the goal for Heller is just the official recognition of an Individual Right, but if the statement about a complete ban of a class not being 'Reasonable Regulation' makes it into the decision that raises many interesting questions.
Just one of the reaons I'm eagerly awaiting the decision (and hoping it's a good one) but not expecting sudden major changes.
Posted by: KCSteve at April 1, 2008 11:36 AM
In this quote "Not surprisingly, many people who manufacture silencers also manufacture other firearms, which is illegal without a permit." is manufacturing defined as "for sale"? (page 8 of 14)
I find some other things disturbing, such as the increasing federal prosecution in homicide cases. Not that I am against prosecution, but why is it being done at the federal level?
Why was the "other military case" dealing with the window not able or not charged under federal laws? Isn't that specifically why we have laws? If we have arbitrary prosecution why have laws at all?
In general I think it summed up what most of us suspected. Typical BS with a fraction of a fraction of the population damning us all.
Posted by: Tom at April 1, 2008 12:17 PM
"In general I think it summed up what most of us suspected. Typical BS with a fraction of a fraction of the population damning us all."
What? I can't hear you. My hobby has been shooting firearms for the last 45 years. Let me turn up my hearing aids.
Posted by: RKM at April 1, 2008 12:29 PM
scratch one from the gene pool...
Posted by: Greg Dome at April 1, 2008 01:58 PM
in the first place they are not silencers, they are suppressors. In the second place the laws restricting them should be repealed. And prosecutors that pursue such cases should ESAD.
Posted by: straightarrrow at April 1, 2008 04:17 PM
If anyone has had the pleasure to hear Alan C. Paulson speak at an AAC seminar, he makes such a rock solid & airtight case for the use of Suppressors that you can't help but scratch your head and wonder why they are regulated.
I equate this to a car that runs on water but the Government calls it evil.
Posted by: SilentMonkey at April 10, 2009 12:19 PM