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News Link • Self-Defense

Quiet Rimfire Shooting Without a Suppressor

•, by M.B.
 Even the name is misleading. A sound suppressor does not silence a firearm completely in most cases. What it does do is reduce the noise level while greatly reducing the muzzle blast and flash. Sound suppressors have been in use for over 100 years. Until the National Firearms Act of 1934, people in the United States could buy sound suppressors in gun stores or even hardware stores. Sound suppressors are now heavily regulated in the U.S. and in many countries. Curiously, however, some nations place few restrictions on sound suppressors or even require their use, in order to reduce the "noise pollution" associated with target shooting and hunting.

Legal purchase of a sound suppressor in the United States is administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Before the purchase can be made, the person must undergo the application process, which includes paying a $200 tax and undergoing a criminal background check. Some purchasers are surprised to find that sound suppressors in the US are often very expensive -- in many cases exceeding the cost of the firearm they are to be used with. In some states -- including California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and some others -- sound suppressors are completely banned for ordinary citizens. In states that allow suppressors, there may be purchase requirements in addition to those required by the federal government.

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