Virginia Beach shooter killed 12 using silencer and high-capacity magazine. Now, lawmakers might look at both.

Virginia Beach shooter killed 12 using silencer and high-capacity magazine. Now, lawmakers might look at both.

Gun Rights

The Virginia Beach shooter who killed 12 people on Friday went room to room in the city’s municipal building using a silencer that one survivor said made the semiautomatic firearm sound like "a nail gun." “If it was a regular gunshot, we would’ve definitely known a lot sooner, even if we would’ve had 30 or 60 seconds more,” Christi Dewar, who worked at the municipal building, told The Virginian-Pilot . “I think we could’ve all secured ourselves … all of us could’ve barricaded ourselves in.” Now, the legality of firearms silencers, or suppressors, may be among the issues that Virginia lawmakers consider when they meet for a special session on gun control called by the governo r in the wake of the massacre. The state’s legislators may also look at high-capacity magazines, which allow a shooter to keep firing without having to pause to reload. The Virginia Beach suspect, DeWayne Craddock, used that device too, according to police. High-capacity magazines and suppressors have been linked to some past mass shootings, and advocates for gun reform contend that their primary purpose is for mass violence — not gun sports. “A high-caliber handgun reportedly equipped with a firearm silencer and extended high-capacity ammunition magazines" lacks any purpose "other than increasing the gun’s lethality and functionality for a mass attack,” Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of gun safety group Violence Policy Center, said in a statement. Others contend that the details of particular weapons are not the main cause of high death […]

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