Jun 21, 2019 4:02 PM
Gun silencers like the one used in a recent lethal shooting in Virginia Beach would be banned under new legislation that New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is introducing.
Menendez unveiled the legislation Friday alongside Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.
New Jersey already bans silencers. But they are lawful in many other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania. The new measure would open a 90-day buyback window for the estimated 1.5 million registered silencers.
Federal law requires their registration, as well as a $200 tax.
Last month a Virginia Beach employee used two semi-automatic handguns, a silencer and extended ammunition magazines to kill 12 people at a municipal building. The shooter was then killed in a gun battle with police.
Menendez says that lives could have been saved if the victims were able to hear the gunshots. The legislation is known as the Help Empower Americans to Respond (HEAR) Act.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.
These laws are simply prohibitionist barriers between Americans and the right to keep and bear arms. This isn’t about preventing crime. The nature of a tax for the exercise of our liberty is already abhorrent enough. Further restricting possession of these accessories to our firearms will only hurt law abiding people. Considering the many inexpensive and accessible means for individuals to make and use illegal suppressors, the government ought to de-regulate these items rather than restrict legal possession further.