Op-ed: The SHARE Act shares the potential for more gun violence

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Those who represent us in the U.S. Congress and Senate need to know that the SHARE Act is not what any responsible gun owner, police officer or the general public wants or needs.

Legislation named “The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act” is currently before the U.S. Congress. Who would think such a bill with such a benign-sounding name would make it easier for drug dealers and other criminals to obtain gun silencers and body-piercing ammunition (known as “cop killers”)? That is exactly what House Bill 3668 will do.

This bill deregulates gun silencers and armor-piercing bullets, putting them on the streets of our cities. Silencers and cop killing bullets are strictly regulated for one reason only: the safety of American citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect them.

Many police departments have “shot spotters” that immediately alert law enforcement when a weapon is fired and pin-point the position of the shooter, allowing for a quick police response. Silencers make this technology virtually useless. How many more rounds can be fired before a shooter is detected? How much easier is it for a shooter to get away if no one hears the gunshots? What happens when snipers, mass shooters, drug dealers, other criminals, terrorists, street gangs or members of self-proclaimed militias are equipped with silencers and armor-piercing ammunition.

The gun industry has long argued that Congress should focus on enforcing gun safety measures already on the books, rather than enacting new ones. Laws regulating the sale of firearm silencers and armor-piercing bullets are effective. They save lives. Deregulating their sale, which this bill does, will make us all less safe.

Law-abiding, mentally stable gun owners can already purchase silencers, but they must pass strict local and national background checks and, to help cover costs, pay a $200 tax (an amount set in 1934 when sales of silencers were originally restricted). Under the SHARE Act, unlicensed dealers and private sellers will not be required to conduct background checks to sell silencers. They will be easily available at gun shows to those who currently cannot qualify to possess them.

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