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Gun Advocates Call For Lifting Ban On Silencers In Illinois

(CBS) --Gun enthusiasts are hoping law makers will pull the trigger and lift the ban on silencers. Our neighbors to the east and west allow silencers. In this Original Report, Dorothy Tucker went to Northwest Indiana to find out why.

Gun shop owner Tim Herdst says the silencers still make noise, but it is safe for your hearing. It's the biggest argument for the device that suppresses the explosive sound of gunfire.

"It's about six times louder without the silencer," he said. "Without the silencer in place, one shot in this indoor range could cause permanent hearing loss."

Herdst says there's also an advantage for police officers conducting drug raids where flammable chemicals may be used.

"The suppressor will reduce the muzzle flash so that they couldn't ignite those gases," he said.

But anti-gun advocates say it's the criminals that concern them.

"We don't want to have those silencers end up in the wrong people's hands," said Colleen Daley with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. "One way to definitely do that is to not sell them here in Illinois."

To buy a silencer, which cost nearly $900, you'll need a FBI background check, fingerprints, passport photo, $200 fee and it could take 9 months.

"For that reason, these things aren't often times falling into the wrong hands," said Knox Williams with the American Suppressor Association.

Makers of the silencers are the ones pushing state lawmakers to lift the ban and they've found at least one supporter, the same downstate Democrat who got the concealed carry bill passed.

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