Indian Citizen Jailed in US for Illegally Selling Gun Silencers
Mohit Chauhan, a resident of Pitampura in New Delhi, was given 30 months in jail by a Louisiana court.
An Indian citizen, Mohit Chauhan, was sentenced to 30 months in jail by a federal court in Louisiana on July 25 for illegally selling gun silencers, acting US Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced. The 31-year-old resident of Pitampura in New Delhi was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, the US Department of Justice said, PTI reported.
Disguised as Auto Parts
Chauhan was sentenced after a guilty plea before US District Judge Elizabeth Foote in Louisiana, according to which he was contacted by someone wishing to buy silencers and planned to smuggle more of them disguised as auto parts. Silencers muffle or suppress the sound of a shot fired by a gun.
Chauhan brought silencer parts to Louisiana in December to show to the buyer, according to the prosecutor. They met in a restaurant in Bossier City to discuss the sale, where federal agents recorded their conversation.
Chauhan discussed the manufacturing of silencers with the potential client by email and phone calls. He did not have a licence to deal or conduct a business involving silencers and parts as required by law, according to a statement released by the department.
Illegally Firearms Industry
In a similar case, a man called Grayson from Los Angeles was sentenced to 10 years in prison in September 2016 for illegally making and selling silencers in the US. He pleaded guilty before US Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes to one count of illegally selling and manufacturing firearm silencers, according to the Department of Justice, Louisiana. Several firearms were seized with silencers attached, as well as assorted silencer parts, and boxes of parts showing mailing information that they were imported from India.
Illegal manufacturing of guns and firearm accessories is largely practised at Munger in Bihar, a town that has a 200-year-old association with indigenous gun-making, Firstpost reported. However, most dealers in Munger do not even know who has placed the orders because they deal with the middlemen or suppliers.
In March 2016, the US gun industry wanted to loosen the rules on silencers to shed the Hollywood hitman image of the gun silencer and to rebrand it as a hearing-protection device, Reuters reported.
The use of silencers has been tightened since 1934 in the US after Congress restricted access to machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and other weapons used by gangs. The penalties for misuse have been quite strict. If found guilty of using a silencer in a violent crime, you can be in prison for a minimum of 30 years.
However, silencers are rarely used in crimes, a 10-year study published in 2007 by the Western Criminology Review showed. The researchers found that silencers were only used in about 30 to 40 of the 75,000 federal criminal cases that were filed each year till 2007.