FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Earlier this month, Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) proposed to ban suppressors after a man shot and killed 12 people in Virginia Beach in May.
The shooter had a silencer attached to his gun, and some survivors say they either didn’t hear the shots, or mistook them for a staple gun.
On Thursday, The National Rifle Association invited local media outlets to its headquarters in Fairfax to give its input. Experts with the American Suppressor Association and the NRA shot .45-caliber handgun — the same gun used in Virginia Beach — and a staple gun to compare.
“You still hear the qualities of the sound… not consistently-timed… you hear a ‘pop-pop-pop’ sound,” said Josh Sabani, the NRA’s director of research and information. “You’re going to associate that with gunfire whether it’s suppressed or unsuppressed.”
The NRA also says wearing ear muffs and plugs alone isn’t enough to protect your ears. The ASA reports 140 decibels is enough to cause permanent damage to your hearing. An un-suppressed rifle can reach up to 195 decibels.