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Senator Menendez to Introduce Legislation to Ban Silencers

On Friday, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, joined by members of Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Students Demand Action, held a press conference in Trenton to unveil a new piece of legislation called the Help Empowered Americans Response Act (HEAR Act), which he will be introducing when the Senate reconvenes on Monday.

As the bill has not yet been formally introduced and the text is not currently available, the exact provisions are unknown. However, from the press conference and press release, Senator Menendez is representing that that bill, if passed, would 1) ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of silencers, 2) authorize a buyback program using federal Byrne JAG grants, 3) provide a 90-day grace period for individuals to comply with the ban, and 4) “[p]rovide limited exceptions for certain current and former law enforcement personnel, for certain Atomic Energy personnel and purpose, and for certain authorized testing or experimentation.”

“Silencers undermine public safety. They undermine the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs. And they undermine the ability of Americans in the midst of mass shootings to survive,” Sen. Menendez said.  “No one needs a silencer to defend themselves or their home, but everyone needsto be able to hear when their lives are in danger, and that’s exactly what the HEAR Act will do.”

The press release continues

A gun silencer, also known as a suppressor, attaches to the barrel of a firearm and muffles the sound and kickback of a gun. Silencers pose a great danger to law enforcement officers and the public since they are unable to detect the location of an active shooter. Although there are laws currently in place to regulate gun silencers, Republicans have continuously fought to deregulate the deadly devices. A nationwide ban on silencers would ensure the devices are not trafficked into states, such as New Jersey, where they are already prohibited.

During the press conference, Senator Menendez said that a companion bill would be introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.

About the Author

Adam Kraut is a firearms law attorney practicing in southeastern PA and across the country federally. He hosts The Legal Brief, a show dedicated to crushing the various myths and misinformation around various areas of the gun world. He was also the general manager of a gun store in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Instagram: @theadamkraut
Twitter: @theadamkraut


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