Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers

Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.) on Monday introduced a bill to outlaw gun suppressors, also known as silencers.

The Help Empower Americans to Respond Act would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of suppressors, according to a statement from Menendez's office. It was introduced in response to a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Va., in which a gun suppressor was used. 

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It would also authorize a silencer buyback program and include certain exceptions for current and former law enforcement personnel and others. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE has previously indicated that he might support a measure to outlaw silencers. In an interview with "Good Morning Britain" earlier this month, the president said he doesn't like gun suppressors and would "think about" banning them.

“We were reminded how dangerous silencers can be a few weeks ago, when a gunman used a .45 caliber handgun fitted with a suppressor to kill 12 Americans in Virginia Beach. What first sounded like a nail-gun ended up being gunfire,” said Menendez in a statement.

“The sound of gunshots is what tells you that your life is danger, and that it’s time to run, hide, take cover, call the police and help others save themselves. At the end of the day if you can hear a weapon you might just save a life,” he added. 

His legislation was co-sponsored by Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein calls on Justice to push for release of Trump whistleblower report Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Missouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers Sen. Kaine: No reason for US to 'engage in military action to protect Saudi oil' MORE (D-Va.).

Twelve people were killed and four were injured in a shooting last month in Virginia Beach. Police Chief James Cervera said the shooter used a .45-caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines and a suppressor.