Over the weekend, I came across an infographic from Brownells that gelled a impression that I have had for a while now. Suppressors (or silencers) have more momentum now than ever and I can’t help but think their eventual removal from the NFA is inevitable or at least very likely.
The infographic that I mentioned above may not seem like a big deal but it shows a shift in the perception of suppressors from cool guy gear or military specific gear to functional safety equipment. Brownells, an industry giant, has taken on the mantle of educating the 200,000+ firearm owners who follow their Facebook page about the benefits of suppressor use. This is a big step toward mainstreaming them.
We even have a suppressor specific advocacy group in the ASA or American Suppressor Association. The group already has significant industry involvement and have already been working along side various groups to improve the legislative landscape for suppressors around the country. They supported the recent successes in Iowa and are currently working in other states in addition to introducing legislation at a nation level in the Hearing Protection Act.
One of the most important recent developments for suppressors came in the announcement of Ruger’s Silent-SR. Ruger’ entry into the suppressor market came and went without much fanfare. I think that many people missed the significance of the event. This is likely the very first time that a publicly traded company has produced a suppressor available for consumer purchase. That in and of itself is pretty amazing. Couple that with Ruger’s brand recognition in consumer groups that otherwise might not be interested in owning a can and their history of pumping millions of dollars into firearm advocacy and you have potentially earth shaking development.
There is no way of knowing how long it will take for suppressors to rightfully be removed from the NFA and made widely available but there is more momentum now than ever.