Deregulating gun silencers is such a bad idea

Second Amendment

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Caroline Phinney, left, and Chiemi Maloy join a rally at the Utah Capitol for a mid-session report card on the progress of gun violence and public safety bills in the Utah Legislature on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. The rally took place the day after the anniversary of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, FL.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 7,500 people have died from gun violence in the U.S. this year. There have been more than 200 mass shootings so far in 2021. What are our Utah representatives doing to stop this unnecessary and gruesome loss of life?

They are championing a bill to deregulate gun silencers, making it easier for criminals to obtain and use them in crimes. Silencers allow criminals extra time to leave the scene of a crime and make a safe getaway, domestic violence to go undetected until it’s too late and mass shooters the ability to go unnoticed until the person next to you drops. Sounds horrible, what possible reasoning would support such a bill?

Hard as it is for me to imagine, our representatives — including Sen. Lee and Rep. Curtis who are co-sponsoring the bill — are worried about the hearing loss occurring at gun ranges. Apparently ear protectors that block sound are cumbersome. Imagine how much more cumbersome medical care for those injured by gunfire or funeral costs for those killed must be. Not to minimize the horror of being the target of a gunman.

Like machine guns, silencers require an application, fingerprinting, a modest fee and a permit. Our Utah legislators passed the permitless carry bill in the last session, so silencers must be next. The silly (and useless) Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution also occupies their time, proving that they will continue to cravenly support the NRA and unlimited rights for gun owners.

Our representatives also know guns are good business. Silencers are manufactured in Utah, and the power of money, apparently, is more important than life and safety. One thing is more important than money to our politicians — your vote. How many of us need to be shot or injured to get your vote? If you or a loved one was the victim of gun violence, would that vote become more important to you? Contact your legislator today.

Barbara Gentry, Member of the Gun Violence Prevention Center Board, Sandy

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