Public Safety Chief to Stand with Gabby Giffords, Oppose Suppressors for ‘Everyday Americans’

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Kalamazoo, Michigan, Department of Public Safety Chief Jeffrey Hadley will appear with gun control proponent Gabby Giffords Monday to argue against suppressor ownership by “everyday Americans” and to oppose national reciprocity for concealed carry.

Hadley is one of 20 law enforcement officers who have agreed to be part of Gabby Giffords’s “Law Enforcement Coalition for Common Sense.” The group will be announced Monday and will talk about “reasonable” gun control on Capitol Hill.

Hadley claims national recognition of concealed carry permits will lead to a setting where “there [could] be more people carrying weapons that shouldn’t be.” This is the same argument that gun control advocates make when a given state goes from being “may issue” to “shall issue” or when concealed carry permit holders in a state like Wyoming are on the verge of being able to carry guns on campus for self-defense.

The argument assumes that criminals have been waiting for concealed carry permit laws to change before they carry guns to use in crimes.

According to USA Today, Hadley also opposes the suppressor deregulation contained in the Hearing Protection Act. He “doesn’t understand why an everyday American needs a silencer,” and he argues that making them accessible to law-abiding citizens will only lead to criminals using them to keep police from ascertaining the location from where shots were fired.

Missing in Hadley’s argument is the fact that suppressors are already legal for “everyday Americans” in 42 states, where they are widely owned and used. Moreover, suppressors do not silence a gun completely, they simply make noise level manageable, which allows the suppressor to do the work that ear protection — headsets and such — have done in the past.

So suppressors are not new and their ownership by “everyday Americans” is commonplace. What is new is the Republican Party’s willingness to remove the logistical nightmare that exists when trying to acquire a suppressor. Think about it — in order to own a suppressor, a law-abiding citizen must be fingerprinted, photographed, pay the federal government a $200 tax, register the suppressor with the government, and undergo a background check. In total, this process takes eight months.

The Hearing Protection Act removes that cumbersome process and the federal tax, replacing it with one background check that will allow citizens to acquire a suppressor at retail in the same way they acquire a firearm.

ATF Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk weighed in on the regulations that currently govern the purchase of suppressors, calling them “archaic.” Turk recognizes that it may be time to quit treating suppressors like machine guns — to remove them from the oversight of the National Firearms Act — so the process of getting one is simplified.

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


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