Utah Sen. Mike Lee proposes bill to remove federal regulations to buy gun silencers

By Dennis Romboy, KSL | Posted - Jan. 24, 2019 at 2:51 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Sen. Mike Lee is among a group of Republican senators who want to eliminate all federal regulations for buying gun silencers.

Lee said the current process for getting a silencer is too expensive and burdensome.

“Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year,” he said.

A silencer is a nonlethal firearm accessory that lowers the sound of a rifle shot, which without suppression is as loud as a jet engine taking off, according to Lee. Suppressors lower the sound to about 130 decibels at most, which is about the same level as a chainsaw.

Buying a silencer now includes petitioning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives by filling out two forms, obtaining a certification from a local chief law enforcement officer, getting two copies of fingerprints and mailing it all in with a $200 check. The approval form takes nine to 12 months to come back.

The House delayed a vote on a similar bill in 2017 after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas.

Joining Lee in proposing the bill are Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; James Risch, R-Idaho; and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

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