Sen. Menendez introduces legislation to ban silencers in the US

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

Gun silencers like the one used in a recent lethal shooting in Virginia Beach would be banned under new legislation that New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is introducing.

Menendez unveiled the legislation Friday alongside Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.

New Jersey already bans silencers. But they are lawful in many other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania. The new measure would open a 90-day buyback window for the estimated 1.5 million registered silencers.

Federal law requires their registration, as well as a $200 tax.

Last month a Virginia Beach employee used two semi-automatic handguns, a silencer and extended ammunition magazines to kill 12 people at a municipal building. The shooter was then killed in a gunbattle with police.

Menendez says that lives could have been saved if the victims were able to hear the gunshots. The legislation is known as the Help Empower Americans to Respond (HEAR) Act.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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