Hiram Percy Maxim invented the firearm silencer in 1902 in lockstep with another of his inventions, the automobile muffler (the value of which nobody questions). His Maxim Silencer didn’t render a supersonic round totally silent, but it went a long way toward it and protected ears from muzzle blasts. In 1934, however, silencers became heavily regulated by the National Firearms Act. While a $3.25 silencer remained legal for qualified applicants, a required $200 transfer stamp ($3,500 in today’s dollars) put one out of reach for most Depression-era Americans. So silencers became objects of legend, portrayed as tools of Hollywood assassins who snuffed their marks and walked casually from crime scenes.