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
NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

News  

Friday, April 9, 2021

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

During a press conference on Thursday, President Biden announced that he would once again be targeting law-abiding gun owners by ordering ATF to develop two new restrictive regulations. Aiming to accessorize the Department of Justice’s ...

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

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.

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

Rahm Emanuel, recently the mayor of Chicago and who has previously served as a member of the Clinton Administration and as President Obama’s White House chief of staff, proposed a few curious gun control ideas ...

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Friday, April 16, 2021

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Early Thursday evening, on a 84-56 vote, the Texas House gave initial approval to House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), an NRA-backed permitless carry proposal that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To ...

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

Monday, April 12, 2021

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

House Bill 1911, by Rep. James White (R-Woodville), and House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), NRA-backed permitless carry proposals that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To Carry (LTC), have been reported ...

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, April 9, 2021

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the House voted to pass House Bill 3096 on third reading. It has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Bills Go to Governor

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Bills Go to Governor

Earlier this week, the Senate voted to pass House bill 1366 and House Bill 31. The bills will now be transmitted to Governor David Ige for his consideration.

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.