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In Wake Of Las Vegas Attack, House Pulls Gun Silencer Bill

Lisa Marie Pane
Knox Williams, president and executive director of the Georgia-based American Suppressor Association, poses for a portrait while holding a handgun with a silencer in Atlanta in January.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have pulled a bill that would have eased federal restrictions on the purchase of gun silencers. U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, D-CT5, says it’s a move in the right direction and she’s glad the bill is off the table.

“Some of the press reports yesterday talked about how people were able to protect themselves because they heard the gunfire and could locate more or less where it was coming from and protect themselves. Well, the bill we would have been voting on, had this awful massacre not happened, would have made it easier for people to buy silencers. It would have meant more people would have died.”

Republicans apparently made the move in response to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, but Esty says she wouldn’t be surprised if the bill comes back after public attention turns away from the attack.   

To avoid this, Esty, who’s a Democrat, says she’s reaching out to her Republican colleagues. She says common ground needs to be found.

“The first step is to try to get people to agree to stay at the table and to try to get real information and not assume that we know the answers. Rather actually try to discover the answers together. And get agreement about facts.”

Esty also wants responsible gun owners to join the conversation and help create better gun laws.

The congresswoman represents Connecticut’s 5th district, which includes Newtown where the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred.  

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including founding producer of the midday talk show, The Full Story.