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
Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Beto Going All-In on Confiscation

Democrat Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke continues to struggle to gain any sort of traction for his campaign. With some polls putting him in 10th place, and his average sitting around 7th, some might say that it is desperation ...

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tell Your Lawmakers: No Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban!

The Democrat Party is now so aligned with gun control that every major candidate running for its 2020 presidential nomination recently appeared in a propaganda video produced by one of the nation’s most active firearm prohibition groups. ...

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

NRA Files Suit Against San Francisco for Violating First Amendment

On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors smeared millions of law-abiding Americans by unanimously adopting a resolution that designated NRA a “domestic terrorist organization.” Less than one week later, on September 9, NRA filed a federal lawsuit ...

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Hampshire: House to Vote on Gov. Sununu's Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

On Wednesday, September 18th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on Governor Chris Sununu's vetoes of three anti-gun bills sent to his desk by the General Court.  Anti-gun Representatives who remain stubbornly committed to ...

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

House Democrats Continue Unprecedented Push for More Gun Control

As was continually threatened while Congress was on its six-week Summer break, House Democrats hastily convened a hearing on Tuesday to promote their latest batch of anti-gun bills.  The House Judiciary Committee’s markup of three bills, ...

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

California: Carson City Council to Hear Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Today, September 17 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering a late addition to this evening’s City Council meeting, Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution is being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm ...

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

After decades of NASCAR drivers literally turning left for hours every race day (road course races excluded, of course), the governing body appears to be taking a figurative left turn, politically. K-Var, a retailer in outdoor and ...

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

California: Carson City Council Fails to Pass Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Firearm Possession and Sales

Yesterday, September 17, the Carson City Council failed to pass anti-gun Resolution 19-1693.  ​The resolution was being pushed by Mayor Albert Robles in an effort to prohibit firearm dealers and firearm possession in the City of Carson to the ...

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

News  

Hunting  

Thursday, September 19, 2019

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has named Jason Ouimet to serve as executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). The NRA Board of Directors unanimously affirmed ...

Playing Games with Numbers

News  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Playing Games with Numbers

Stanford Law Professor John Donohue and Theodora Boulouta, a Stanford undergrad, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times that claims their new research shows the 1994 “assault weapons” ban really did work.  Their finding is ...

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.