Controversy Over Proposal To Change Federal Gun Regulations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Many Mid-South residents are up in arms over a proposal to change federal gun regulations. 

Congressional Republicans want to make buying a silencer, or suppressor, easier. They claim it's because of a safety measure to prevent hearing loss, but critics aren't buying it. 

The Hearing Protection Act is not going over well with people in Memphis, nor the Memphis Police Director. 

Critics argue there's no evidence to support hearing loss related to gun shots, and they believe using a silencer is just a secretive way for criminals to commit a crime. 

"The police department never passes any law but we always have to deal with the consequences,” said Director Mike Rallings.

According to Director Rallings, lawmakers who want to change federal gun regulations to make it easier to buy a silencer need a reality check. 

"The citizens end up suffering or benefiting from what you pass and what you support, and often it is not well thought through," said Rallings. 

Mid-South residents we spoke to agree.

Lesley Whitehead of Memphis said, "A silencer makes it secretive. And by secretive it automatically ensues that it's wrong."

"So, a silencer means you can walk around and shoot somebody and won't nobody hear, won't nobody know," said Tori Eldridge of Bartlett. 

Shean Huges of North Memphis said, "I hear shots on a daily basis. A silencer gonna make it worse cause that means I ain't gonna hear it."

Director Rallings says it's just a bad idea. "I think we need some common-sense laws because I think guns and cars have had a negative impact on what has happened in Memphis," said Rallings. 

If the proposal is passed, residents are still required to have a background check before buying a silencer. 

A similar measure failed in 2015, however, supporters are optimistic this time, with Republican Donald Trump set Friday to officially become president.


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