Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

OPPOSE a Ban of Firearm Sound Suppressors

Virginia: OPPOSE a Ban of Firearm Sound Suppressors

Misinformation about firearm sound suppressors is rampant

Firearm sound suppressors are devices that attach to the end of a firearm's barrel to reduce the noise of a gunshot. Suppressors, silencers, mufflers, moderators, and "cans" are all names for the same type of device that is designed to reduce the report of a firearm.  These devices were called "silencers" by their designer, but today are more commonly called suppressors because they only reduce the noise of a gunshot, not silence it.  Suppressors function in the same way as the mufflers used on automobiles. In fact, firearm suppressors and automobile mufflers were designed by the same person.

Despite there being over 1.6 million lawfully possessed suppressors in the United States, they are very rarely used in a crime. There are only a handful of recorded cases where a lawfully possessed suppressor has been used in a crime.

Benefits of suppressors

According to the Centers for Disease Control (which isn’t known for being particularly friendly to firearm owners) “The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel.”This conclusion from the CDC is unsurprising to anyone who has actually used a firearm equipped with a suppressor.  Firearm suppressors reduce the report of a firearm by about 20-35 decibels, and, unlike other forms of hearing protection, are not susceptible to user error that substantially limits their effectiveness.

The health problems associated with loud noises are apparent when looking at the amount of hearing loss suffered by soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. The Veterans Administrations reports on its website that “[h]earing problems …are by far the most prevalent service-connected disability among American Veterans.”

Firearms, even with a suppressor, are very loud

Unsuppressed firearms produce a noise impulse of 140-180 decibels (dBA). Suppressors reduce this noise by 20-35 dBA. Decibels (dBA) are a logarithmic scale, so sound levels increase in a non-linear fashion. A 3 dBA increase doubles the sound pressure level. (Although most people perceive a 6 to 10 dBA increase as double the noise level.)

To put this in context, the 130-140 decibels produced by most suppressed firearms is louder than a jackhammer, which can produce between 110-130 decibels. 


Suppressors are very heavily regulated already

Despite being an inert metal device that is completely harmless on its own, suppressors are regulated as heavily under federal law as machineguns and grenade launchers. Acquiring a suppressor involves paying a $200 tax, a burdensome application process, and long processing times, often upwards of a year.

Banning suppressors wouldn’t have stopped the Virginia Beach tragedy 

Following the shooting, Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera stated,

As far as more legislation on gun issues. I’m a member of Major City Chiefs, we did publish something about a year and a half ago. I don’t think most of that would have mattered in this particular case. We do have the Second Amendment it is very stringent for our country. In this particular case the weapons were obtained legally. Everything was done in a legal manner by this individual.

Gov. Northam recently suggested that this is not a complete list of the gun control measures he wants the General Assembly to consider. Read the latest articles. 

It's critical that every gun owner in the Commonwealth contact their legislators and urge them to OPPOSE Gov. Northam’s and his media allies' gun control agenda. 

NRA-ILA is hosting town hall meetings throughout Virginia— including in Fredericksburg, Ashland, and Belle Haven. 


National Review.com  

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

VA Gov Ralph Northam’s Insane Gun-Grab Proposal

As Stephen Gutowski notes at the Free Beacon, there’s a truly radical proposal lurking in the Virginia governor’s ...

The Republican Standard  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

GOP's Kilgore Says Northam's Gun Control Bills 'Dead on Arrival'

The Republican lawmaker from Southwest, who supports the Second Amendment, said Governor Northam's gun control bills were "dead ...

Free Beacon.com  

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Republicans, Gun-Rights Groups Vow to Fight Va. Gov’s Gun-Control Proposals

Virginia Republicans, the National Rifle Association, and a state-based gun-rights group announced their opposition this week to a ...

The Republican Standard  

Monday, January 7, 2019

Gov. Northam’s Gun Control Package Would Ban Boy Scouts’ .22 Rifles

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam rolled out a gun control package which could be bad news for the Boy ...

Washington Post  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Virginia governor assails school system’s plan to arm teachers

The five-member School Board in Lee County, a small system in Virginia’s far southwest, voted unanimously earlier this ...

Richmond Times-Dispatch  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Virginia: Most of the Democratic gun control agenda dies early in Senate committee

Gov. Ralph Northam made a pitch for gun control at a Capitol Square rally Monday afternoon, but much ...

Virginia: Gun Control Tops New Governor’s Agenda


Friday, January 12, 2018

Virginia: Gun Control Tops New Governor’s Agenda

This week, Virginia Governor McAuliffe and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam outlined their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session, ...

Washington Post.com  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Northam: Gun control, Medicaid among priorities for 2018

Democratic Gov.-elect Ralph Northam said Tuesday that expanding Medicaid in Virginia and implementing universal background checks for gun ...

Washington Post.com  

Monday, October 23, 2017

Gun control group Everytown pours another $700k into Virginia elections

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the political arm of one of the nation’s largest gun control groups, ...

Washington Post  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Candidates sharply disagree on guns in Virginia gov’s race

The two major party candidates in Virginia’s race for governor sharply disagree when it comes to guns.Republican Ed ...


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.