Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers

Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Pompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors 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 TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller 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 FeinsteinTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Health care moves to center stage of Democratic primary fight | Sanders, Biden trade sharps jabs on Medicare for All | Senate to vote on 9/11 bill next week | Buttigieg pushes for cheaper insulin Health care moves to center stage in Democratic primary fight Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress 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.