Professor: Don’t Deregulate Suppressors; Loudness Is a ‘Gun Safety Feature’

Convention goers look at old rifle suppressors April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read

Political science professor Robert Spitzer voiced opposition to the suppressor deregulation by claiming that the sound of gunfire is a “gun safety feature.”

Writing in the Washington Post, Spitzer, the chair of the Political Science Department at State University of New York at Cortland, opened his column by quoting George W. Bush’s former press secretary, Ari Fleischer, who was in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on January 6 when Esteban Santiago allegedly opened fire. Fleischer recalled hearing the shots, saying, “We all realized it was gunfire, and it was coming from the level below us at the escalator.”

Spitzer then opines, “Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger.”

Suppressors, however, do not eliminate all sound. Moreover, suppressors are already legal in 42 states and widely owned, yet they are not being used in the commission of mass shootings or violent attacks.

Spitzer’s second argument against suppressors is that the NRA is pushing deregulation as a way to increase gun sales. He claims that “proliferation of silencers would also have the commercial benefit of boosting gun sales, because most existing guns do not have the threaded barrels necessary to attach them.”

One can simply buy a threaded barrel for a handgun, however, rather than buy a new one.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at