Why suppressors (silencers) for firearms?
Because it’s polite.
Put it this way. Ever hear a car engine without a muffler? Probably not. So have you heard a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that’s so loud it rattles your fillings loose? Most motorcycles that are that loud are that loud because their exhaust pipes don’t have mufflers. Imagine if we didn’t mandate mufflers for cars and trucks? Imagine how loud and unbearable that would be, and how much damage it would do to your hearing.
Suppressors for firearms are no different. A gunshot can register 120-150dB or more (conversations are 60-70dB, rock concerts register maybe 115dB, jet engines are 140dB). Exposure to sounds that loud will damage your hearing. But more than that, all that noise is going to bother your neighbors.
A local gun range was putting on night shoot matches. While I’ve been unable to participate in them, it was not only a cool thing but was also one of the few opportunities people might have to practice shooting at night. Come on… if we’re all expecting home invasions in the middle of the night, wouldn’t it be good to be able to have practice shooting with flashlights in a low-light situation? Alas, they had to cancel the matches now and for the foreseeable future because of noise complaints. It’s understandable. I mean, if it’s 9:oo PM and there’s a lot of loud noise and I’m trying to get my kids to sleep, I’d complain too no matter what the source of the noise was.
Suppressors could help mitigate this situation.
I did a hog hunt at night where we used suppressed rifles. Why? because it was polite to the neighbors and land owners, as well as the local law enforcement.
We can buy suppressors here in Texas, but there are tons of legal hoops and expense to go through to get them. Why? We don’t cause people this much grief to get a new muffler for their car; in fact, if you didn’t have a muffler on your car you’d get in trouble for that! Why can’t I just go to the local gun shop, buy a suppressor, and be off and running… quietly?