President Trump Critical of Firearm Suppressors After VA Beach Shooting

Silencers are on display at the Sig Sauer booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photo/John Locher

While departing the White House for his U.K. visit, President Trump was asked about firearm suppressors and responded, “I don’t like them at all.”

Trump’s comments came after a reporter brought up the Virginia Beach shooter, who had a suppressor on one of his handguns.

The Daily Beast quoted the reporter, who asked Trump, “The suspect in the Virginia Beach shooting used a silencer on his weapon. Do you believe that silencers should be restricted?”

Trump responded simply, “I don’t like them at all.”

Ironically, suppressors are one of the most restricted firearm accessories in America, as they are regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Getting one legally involves passing an in-depth background check, being fingerprinted and photographed, registering the device with the federal government, and paying the government a $200 tax (on top the normal costs and taxes for the suppressor). This acquisition process takes eight months and sometimes longer.

Suppressors do not silence gunfire, rather, they remove the sharp aspect of the sound of a gunshot that damages hearing. The Washington Post reported witnesses who were in the building at the time of the attack said, “We just kept hearing gunshots.”

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera noted that police officers were able to find and kill the gunman by moving toward the sound of his gunshots.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.