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
Biden Plots Sneak Attack Against U.S. Firearms Industry

News  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Biden Plots Sneak Attack Against U.S. Firearms Industry

Joe Biden has unveiled his agenda for his first 100 days in the White House, and his list includes an initiative aimed at nothing less than the destruction of the U.S. firearms industry. This is ...

Anti-Gun Groups Want to Abolish What Law-Abiding Virginians Have been Doing for Centuries

News  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Anti-Gun Groups Want to Abolish What Law-Abiding Virginians Have been Doing for Centuries

Last year, the anti-Second Amendment majority in the Virginia legislature that was purchased by gun-ban extremists passed a number of anti-gun measures. Anti-gun activists even demanded an opportunity to gloat over what they had bought.

Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Next week, anti-gun legislation, Senate Bill 5078 and Senate Bill 5038, are scheduled for hearings in the Senate Law and Justice Committee. 

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

News  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

On January 18th, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Protecting Law Enforcement Officers, Judges, Prosecutors, And Their Families.” The order aims to provide for more federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to be able to ...

Gun Control Groups Push Hollywood to Produce Even More Anti-gun Propaganda

News  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Gun Control Groups Push Hollywood to Produce Even More Anti-gun Propaganda

Gun control advocates are once again pushing the entertainment industry to produce anti-gun propaganda with the explicit goal of advancing failed firearm legislation. The renewed overt effort will strike some as superfluous, given Hollywood’s lengthy track record of anti-gun agitprop and left-wing political monoculture.

Maryland: Senate Committee Passes Wear & Carry Preliminary Approval

Monday, January 25, 2021

Maryland: Senate Committee Passes Wear & Carry Preliminary Approval

On January 21st, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 309.

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

Biden issued this “pledge” in a January 8 tweet that falsely tried to suggest the men and women of the NRA were somehow implicated in an infamous crime that was committed a decade ago by ...

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

Friday, January 15, 2021

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

As Legislators begin to file bills for the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, we are getting questions about various bills due to media reports on gun bills.  Below is a partial list of bills we will ...

Utah: House Judiciary Committee Passes Permitless Carry Legislation!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Utah: House Judiciary Committee Passes Permitless Carry Legislation!

On January 22nd, the Utah House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 60 on an 8 - 3 vote. 

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.

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.