Manufacturer talks silencers as ban is discussed in Legislature

Leadfoot Suppressor Manufacturer (KHGI)

Multiburst trigger activators and silencers could soon be banned in Nebraska if a proposed bill is passed.

The bill was introduced by Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, and co–sponsored by four others. If passed, it would , "prohibit the manufacture, import, transfer, and possession of multiburst trigger activators and firearm silencers."

"A silencer and a suppressor is the same thing," explained Leadfoot LLC suppressor manufacturer, Joe Melton. "The correct term is a suppressor so the experts say suppressors however, the NFA, the ATF and the FBI don't recognize suppressor. It's silencer on the form."

It is called a silencer in the proposed bill too.

Leadfoot has been manufacturing them for years.

"We make silencers for all calibers, .22's up to .50 cal," said Melton.

Despite the name, shooting a rifle with a silencer is not silent at all. Melton said that misconception can be blamed on Hollywood.

"It's really not like it is in the movies and it's kind of confusing because people think a silencer takes away the noise," said Melton. "What it does is, when you shoot you have an explosion at the gun and you have another what you could call an explosion which is the sonic boom. You're always going to hear that sonic boom."

NTV reporter Jessica Stevenson shot a semi automatic AR15, like one used in the Las Vegas shooting. With a silencer on, she thought the sound was tolerable and the recoil was manageable. Melton followed without the silencer.

"So like in Vegas, if that guy had been using a silencer. It wouldn't have sounded any different to the victims. It would have sounded exactly the same," said Melton. "The only difference would be the victims would not be able to quite pinpoint his location because they wouldn't have heard the second explosion."

He said the main reason people purchase silencers is for safety.

"While a suppressor isn't like the movies, it doesn't make it pure silent," said Melton. "It does get rid of most of the sound that causes hearing damage, but you're still shooting 132 decibels, which a jet plane is just slightly louder than that."

Melton said, if this bill is passed it would greatly impact his business.

According to the legislative agenda, the first hearing scheduled on January 19, at 1:30 p.m. in the Judiciary Committee.

Current firearms laws in Nebraska can be seen here.

To follow this story, and all of Jessica Stevenson's local news coverage, you can find her on facebook and twitter.

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