For Release: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Following the mass shooting Friday at a civic building in Virginia Beach, Virginia involving a 45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, reportedly equipped with a firearm silencer and extended ammunition magazines, that left 12 victims dead and four wounded before the shooter died in a gun battle with law enforcement, Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann issued the following statement:
“Today our nation grieves yet another gun massacre: 12 innocent lives lost, four seriously wounded survivors, and a community changed forever. Once again, Americans going about their daily lives are the victims of horrific gun violence that should be unthinkable, but is now commonplace. And as in past gun massacres, the shooter’s unnamed accomplice is the gun industry, which constantly works to increase the lethality of the firearms in American hands. This time it took the form of a high-caliber handgun reportedly equipped with a firearm silencer and extended high-capacity ammunition magazines, accessories lacking any purpose other than increasing the gun’s lethality and functionality for a mass attack.”
For more information on the firearms industry’s marketing of firearm silencers, including legislative efforts to make them as easy to purchase under federal law as hunting rifles, see the 2017 Violence Policy Center report Silencers: A Threat to Public Safety (http://vpc.org/studies/silencers.pdf).