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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) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report 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 TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 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 FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats have no case against Amy Coney Barrett — but that won't stop them Pence-Harris debate draws more than 50M viewers, up 26 percent from 2016 Five takeaways from the vice presidential debate 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.