In Spokane, Wash., the police department will move to safeguard the hearing of officers and bystanders by installing suppressors on the 181 service rifles that are carried on patrol. “It’s nothing more than like the muffler you put on your car,” said Lt. Rob Boothe, the department’s range master and lead firearms instructor.
The Spokesman-Review reports that this initiative is meant to cut down on workers’ compensation claims filed by officers and lawsuits from bystanders whose hearing could be damaged by unsuppressed firearms. While some on the City Council initially expressed concern, they were satisfied by the explanation that the suppressors would not make gunshots too quiet to hear—they will still be louder than a chainsaw.
“There’s this Hollywood mystique,” Booth said about public misconceptions of suppressors’ function. “Probably the best way to say it, beyond suppressors, is this is an OSHA-approved noise reduction device.” We hope that gun-ban advocates and many in the so-called “mainstream” media, who tend to erroneously paint suppressors as assassination tools, get the message loud and clear.