Supreme Court turns away challenge to federal law regulating gun silencers.
The Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a challenge to a federal law that requires the regulation of gun silencers.
The case involves two men, Jeremy Kettler and Shane Cox, who were convicted of possessing unregistered firearm suppressors in violation of the National Firearms Act. The federal law, enacted in 1934, requires certain firearms — including silencers, grenades, and machine guns — to be registered with the federal government. It also requires a person purchasing a suppressor to pay a fee, undergo a background check, and submit fingerprints and photos.
Cox owns a military surplus store in Chanute, Kan., where he made and sold suppressors. Kettler bought a silencer in 2014 at Cox’s store.
Kettler’s attorneys argued he believed the “purchase, possession, and use of such a suppressor was entirely lawful.” Lawyers for Cox told the Supreme Court in filings he never would have made or sold the suppressors had he not thought it was legal to do so under a Kansas gun law passed in 2013.
After purchasing the silencer from Cox, Kettler posted a video to Facebook of the device, which led agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to interview him about his suppressors and posts on social media.
Kettler informed the ATF agents he was in possession of the silencers and told them he had “done nothing wrong,” his lawyers said.