Information sourced from atf.gov
SILENCER / SUPPRESSOR INFORMATION
The National Firearms Act defines a Silencer (Suppressor) to include any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
Despite common misconceptions, silencers are NOT silent, and for that matter are often referred to as “suppressors” instead. Think of silencers as simple mufflers for firearms, which function in the exact same fashion as an automotive muffler… by trapping the hot expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to cool before escaping.
Always double-check your national and local state laws
LEGAL SILENCER OWNERSHIP CRITERIA
To legally purchase, make, or possess a Silencer (Suppressor) you must:
- Be 21+ years of age to purchase a silencer from a dealer.
- Be 18+ years of age to purchase a silencer from an individual on a Form 4 to Form 4 transfer (contingent on state laws).
- Be 18+ years of age to make and register a silencer on a Form 1 (contingent on state laws).
- Be 18+ years of age to possess a silencer as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation (contingent on state laws).
- Be a resident of the United States.
- Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
- Pass a BATFE background check.
- Pay a one-time $200 tax to register or transfer the item.
- Reside in a state that currently allows ownership of silencers.
Information required to be sent in with application form
HOW TO PURCHASE A SILENCER
In addition to meeting the legal ownership criteria above (always following your specific state laws), you must submit the following information to the ATF and your local CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer), varying slightly depending upon your method of purchase.
Note that when buying an existing Silencer on a Form 4 transfer, you typically first purchase (pay for) the item from the seller, but not physically take ownership immediately. The seller must hold the item while you complete the NFA application process and wait to receive your application approval and tax stamp. After you receive official approval and your tax stamp, you can then legally pick up and take ownership of the item.
|ATF Form (in duplicate)||•||•|
|FBI FD-258 Fingerprint Cards||•||•|
|ATF Form 5320.23||•|
|Copy of Trust Documents||•|
|$200 Tax (per suppressor)||•||•|
|Send CLEO Notification||•||•|
|… with copy of ATF Form 4||•||•|
|… with copy of ATF Form 5320.23 (from all Responsible Persons)||•|
|Wait For ATF Approval||•||•|
When building a silencer on a Form 1
IMPORTANT LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS
If you are planning to build a Silencer (Suppressor) using a Form 1, make certain to observe the following special considerations to help keep yourself out of trouble and properly follow NFA laws. Ideally, to ensure 100% that you are following legal requirements, do not begin building or gathering any parts or components until after you receive approval and your tax stamp.
- Determine the caliber(s) you will be building the silencer for and get your form filled out and submitted as soon as possible due to the extended waiting period.
- While your form is being processed, plan and design your silencer build to determine the following:
- Physical dimensions (length, width, height)
- Baffle style (k baffles, monocore, stepped cones, etc.)
- Materials you will utilize (aluminum, steel, titanium)
- Thread pitch (1/2×28, 5/8×24, M13.5x1LH, etc.)
- Do NOT collect or create any components that could be reasonably be constructed into a functional silencer before receiving your officially approved application form. This includes drilling ANY center-holes in any baffle-type components, end caps, etc.