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Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers

Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy Senate Democrats ramp up push to limit Biden's war powers Democrats reintroduce legislation to ban 'ghost guns' 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 TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez 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 FeinsteinInfrastructure deal imperiled by differences on financing If you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSenate Democrats ramp up push to limit Biden's war powers Sweeping election reform bill faces Senate buzz saw How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force 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.