Durham was recorded setting up a sale of silencers with an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, authorities said. They met on May 10, 2016, in Winnfield, and the undercover agent purchased three silencers.A silencer, (more correctly, a suppressor) is a simple device used to quieten the report of a firearm. They can be built by any home hobbyist. We've talked about this before. Suppressors were banned in the United States when Congress enacted the National Firearms Act of 1934 in the wake of gangland violence. In those days, suppressors were considered nefarious devices used solely by criminals who wanted to keep their illicit activities secret.
Nowadays, of course, suppressors are considered safety devices that preserve hearing. The don't silence a firearm, but they suppress the report to a level that doesn't pose a medical threat to your ears. Suppressors are legally bought and sold in the US today, but you have to pay a $200 tax and register the device with the government.
I detest the suppressor law. It places a tax on possessing a simple little mechanical device that can be manufactured by almost anyone. But, it is the law, and we disregard it at our hazard, as illustrated in this cautionary tale. An unregistered suppressor can cause you to spend up to 10 years in jail.
We need to change the law. But, before that is accomplished, it's still a felony to possess an unregistered silencer.