Silence the fear on suppressors


Danny Kilrea, Copy editor

IL SB206, which proposes gun suppressors (silencers) to be legalized, will be voted on by the Illinois Senate this week. At first, this sounded ludicrous to me. Gun suppressors would be legalized? I thought it was impossible for the bill to even pass the preliminary stages, especially in a primarily Democratic state. When I learned that it was gaining bipartisan support, I had to look into this bill.

It turns out that gun suppressors aren’t so bad. Criminals are not the ones planning to use them. They can be used to preserve hearing of shooters and aid police officers or anyone looking to learn how to shoot. Further, movies have created a negative stigma around the helpful technology.

First off, gun suppressors will protect the hearing of shooters. Many veterans and hunters regularly shoot guns and this can have a deep, negative impact on their hearing. With the legalization of suppressors, it will allow people to safely use firearms. These people are going to use their firearms anyway so the state might as well ensure that their health will not be compromised.

Further, suppressors can aid those learning to shoot. When picking up technique, the power of the shot leaving the gun can cause a first time shooter to flinch. The flinch can hinder proper technique and cause inaccurate shots. If a person regularly flinches because of what they did in the infancy stages of learning, then they will continue to have inaccurate shots. This matters for police officers who may only get one shot to hit their target in times of crisis.

Without a doubt there are convincing arguments for not wanting this bill to pass. The fear of an assassin trying to secretly kill prey is a legitimate concern. Yet, criminals most likely are not going to care about whether their gun makes a noise when they shoot it. They are just going to commit the crime. Also, most criminals obtain guns illegally. If they obtain their gun illegally, they probably can obtain the suppressor illegally if they truly wanted one. All in all, the fear of criminals going around and silently killing is a legitimate concern, yet it’s unlikely this fear would happen whether the bill passess or not.

The reason this debate is so contentious is because movies have made suppressors look much worse than they are. Movies portray assassins going around and secretly killing innocent human beings. Yet, suppressors don’t completely silence the gun, the only make the sound less explosive. If criminals were to have suppressors, people would still hear the shot. The negative stigma about suppressors needs to be reevaluated.

In conclusion, SB206 will be voted on by the Illinois Senate this week. If it passes, it’s up to Governor Bruce Rauner to sign it or veto it. suppressors are not something the public has to fear because it will only aid citizens. While the notion sounds ridiculous upon first hearing it, the scare over suppressors should be put to rest.

The bipartisan bill’s progress is quickly moving forward, so whatever your thoughts are, call your representative and voice your opinions. You can find your representative through this link: