Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers

Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters 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 TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 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 FeinsteinGiffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Senate confirms Trump pick labeled 'not qualified' by American Bar Association Feinstein endorses Christy Smith for Katie Hill's former House seat MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine'Granite Express' flight to take staffers, journalists to NH after Iowa caucuses Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Senate panel approves Trump FDA pick | Biden downplays Dem enthusiasm around 'Medicare for All' | Trump officials unveil program for free HIV prevention drugs for uninsured Trump's FDA nominee approved by Senate panel 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.