The Daily Beast quoted a reporter who asked; “The suspect in the Virginia Beach shooting used a silencer on his weapon. Do you believe that silencers should be restricted?” as the president was leaving for the U.K.
Trump responded, “I don’t like them at all.”
This isn’t the first time the president has shown a lack of support for non-firearm items in the gun world. In fact, he told the ATF to look at reclassifying bump stocks. A number of people agreed with this, including some shooters, but many others didn’t.
What’s truly interesting, though, is that Donald Trump, Jr. has long supported loosening regulations on suppressors. In fact, he appeared in a 2016 video produced by SilencerCo. In it, Jr. expands on the benefits of suppressors. Trump Jr. supports the Hearing Protection Act, which has not passed Congress.
Reasoning Behind President Trump Suppressor Question
The question came because of the recent Virginia Beach shooting where the attacker used a suppressor. Many people, including reporters, believe suppressors silence gunshots to the point where they can’t be heard. However, this isn’t the case. Suppressors only reduce the sound of a gunshot by about 30 decibels on average. On a .45 ACP pistol, like the attacker used, a suppressor reduces the sound to around 130 decibels, or about the sound of a rock concert or a jackhammer at about 50 feet.
In a press conference about the shooting, Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera stated that responding officers followed the sound of gunshots to find the suspect. Witnesses inside the building also stated they kept hearing gunshots. This disputes the notion that suppressors completely silence gunshots, typically promoted via movies and television.
Additionally, Chief Cervera told George Stephanopoulos that gun control laws would not have prevented this incident. The shooter obtained his guns legally, and it happened in a building where employees were banned from carrying guns.
Considering what happened with bump stocks, the president could take action to make these highly regulated items even harder to obtain. However, Trump often makes statements without seemingly thinking the entire subject through. No one knows if that’s the case here, but he could rethink the issue after a talk with his son.