RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Ahead of Tuesday’s special session, the National Rifle Association held a demonstration of suppressors so people can see how they work and what they are used for. The NRA says suppressors, also known as silencers, are used and needed to protect people’s ears and a proposed ban wouldn’t be doing anything but taking that right from gun owners.
During Monday’s demonstration at Colonial Shooting Academy, the NRA said the point of a suppressor, or silencer, isn’t actually to silence the weapon but to protect the gun owner’s ears.
“It is just something that’s going to reduce a dangerously loud sound level,” Knox Williams, the president and executive director of American Suppressor Association, “to a less dangerously loud sound level. There is no tool in existence that can eliminate the noise of a firearm.”
The NRA is arguing Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed ban on silencers is just a political stunt.
“Nothing he is proposing would’ve prevented what happened at Virginia Beach,” NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen said.
Mortensen says the governor’s proposals will make it harder for citizens to protect and defend themselves.
“This is a scheme that will not make anyone any safer,” she said. “We’ve seen it time and time again, the governor tried to pass these gun laws in the session and they failed.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney agrees with Northam’s plan to ban suppressors.
“There’s no need, I think, for anyone to have to purchase a silencer then walk into a public building and kill 12 individuals,” Stoney said. “It’s unnecessary.”
Getting a suppressor is a five to 18-month process involving a background check and fingerprints. The NRA plans to hold a closed meeting with its members before the special session.