Minnesota Governor Threatening Veto on Suppressor Bill

Silencing is Not a Crime

We’ve done very well getting bipartisan cooperation on passing a suppressor hunting bill in Minnesota, only to draw a veto threat from Governor Mark Dayton, who notes:

“Nowhere in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution does it refer to the right to bear a silencer,” Dayton wrote in the letter. “To allow gunshots to be silenced increases the danger to law enforcement officers, and to innocent bystanders.”

It doesn’t refer to the right to bear pistols either, yet that was the key arm at issue in Heller. Can we give this stuff more than a soundbite’s worth of thought? Is that really too much to ask? The Governor also displays his ignorance of the subject. A silencer doesn’t silence: it takes a shot from being deafeningly loud to being kind of loud. Because rifle bullets used for hunting travel at supersonic speeds, even with an unsuppressed rifle, the target will be hit before the sound of the gunshot reaches it. Any public safety argument that revolves around the sound of gunfire being any kind of public safety benefit are ridiculous, as is the Governor if he vetoes this bill.

The linked article shows how we’re successfully driving this issue. Even thought the article is about Dayton’s veto threat, it still gets out all our key talking points in about suppressors to the general public. This is how you chip at the NFA: first, you build a constituency for getting suppressors de-listed, and hunting is one shooting activity where its benefits are apparent. Earplugs might save your hearing, but they also masks the sounds of wildlife, or more importantly, the sound of another person nearby you might have missed visually. It’s easier to get these talking points out in the context of hunting than anything else. Second, when you build that constituency enough, and the gun community becomes familiar with the applications and benefits of suppressors, push for having them delisted from the National Firearms Act. Five years ago I would have said getting anything delisted from NFA a pipe dream. Now, I think we have a realistic chance of delisting them in the next decade if the political winds keep blowing in the right direction.

9 thoughts on “Minnesota Governor Threatening Veto on Suppressor Bill”

  1. “…increases the danger to law enforcement officers, and to innocent bystanders.”

    – Reference needed

  2. It is not easy, it is hard work, but you can be successful. It takes time and effort; and you will not always win the first time.

    Governor “too incompetent to work for the family business” Dayton will probably veto the silencer bill. He vetoed a Stand Your Ground bill a few years ago. But MN GOCRA will still be there next year and they will keep pushing.

  3. I believe the day that suppressors will be removed from the NFA is coming. The increasing popularity makes it a virtual certainty IMO…

  4. Congress could give a nudge by dictating a shift in ATF resources to stamp approval. Sell it as a revenue generation and “moar background checks” matter.

    Suppressor prices are great and $200 isn’t out of reach for most shooters, right now the biggest impediment (for me) is the 6-8 month approval period.

    Mandate that be cut to 2-3 weeks and we’d see suppressor numbers explode.

    1. “Suppressor prices are great”??? You think 300-1,000 dollars is great for a century old technology? For something you can buy in European countries for $50 or so Euro?

      I understand the currently operating suppressor companies here in the U.S. have more hoops to jump through, but some of the prices we’re seeing here aren’t justified.

      Not to mention if they’re as concerned about growing their markets as they claim, they’d be doing exactly what some NFA dealers have been doing with Trusts; bringing in lawyers to set them up for $100 dollars and below. They should be selling entry-range units for civilized money. Making the barrier to entry lower.

      1. Okay…

        …great, except for perfectly foreseeable premiums being charged due to government interference on both sides of the marketplace.


        Let me take you back to the late ’80s / early ’90s before the days when suppressors were advertised in mass-market gun magazines and they were priced like they were made of gold.

        You know what else is hundred year old technology and can be made more cheaply than ever with modern production methods and materials?

        Semi-auto handguns. Now complain that *those* prices average in the low/mid hundreds.

  5. This, along with four other bills, have been added to an omnibus public safety funding bill. I don’t believe he can line-item veto anything. If he vetoes the bill, he will piss off a lot of people including his own ilk.

  6. In 2011 NRAAM in Pittsburgh when I brought up moving suppressors to Title I, the Office of General Counsel laughed softly at me. In 2015 NRAAM in Nashville I brought it again, they did not laugh at me.

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