choosing the right suppressor
Choosing The Right Suppressor
Suppressors are taking the shooting world by storm and for good reason. 10 years ago I knew nothing about…Read More
There are various different paths to own a suppressor in addition to many reasons to own one! Rather than boring you with paragraph after paragraph of confusing information, I‘m going to tell you the most efficient way to own a suppressor. Plus you can download our Quick Start Guide.
Suppressors fall under the National Firearms Act (NFA) from way back in 1934. After prohibition ended, the government wanted to limit certain items from the public. Suppressors, machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns and a few others all fall under the NFA. In 1934 the intent was to make these items too expensive to purchase. The government also required a tax stamp, which was and still is $200. While $200 is still a chunk of change, back when the NFA was enacted, $200 was approximately equivalent to $4,000 today. All NFA items must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Private owners wishing to purchase a NFA item must obtain approval from the ATF & pass an extensive background check. This includes submitting a photograph, fingerprints & registering the firearm. Then you must also pay a $200 tax. While this process is a complete pain in the ass, modern technology dramatically simplified the process.
Buy the suppressor from a shop that has their class 3 . Yes, that’s correct, you actually buy it before any other step, but don’t get ahead of yourself, you won’t be taking it home anytime soon. Each suppressor comes with a unique serial number and you need that serial number to begin the registration process. But, like I said, you must be approved and your silencer registered by the ATF before you can take possession. Check out choosing the right suppressor.
Here is where it gets complicated. You can register it to yourself; form a trust and register the suppressor to that trust; or register as a corporation. Registering as a corporation has various challenges and little benefits so that leaves registering it to yourself or a trust.
Registering it to yourself is the easiest but you‘re the only one allowed to be in possession of the NFA item. If you‘re going to go that route, I recommend going with a Silencer shop and using their Kiosks. How To Buy A Silencer
If you go with a trust, you can add and/or remove trustees at any time, which provides a lot of flexibility. I paid a couple hundred to have my trust drawn up but I‘ve used it for multiple NFA items and think it’s the best way to go. Prices have gone down and if you look online there are several places you can have a trust drawn up for around $150. Ask your local gun shop as they likely have someone who can draw one up for you.
Whether you go with a trust or register the suppressor to yourself, you‘ll need to send in what’s called a form 4, passport photo and fingerprint cards. Always send 2 pictures and 2 fingerprint cards with your form 4. The dealer you purchased the suppressor from should help you make sure you mail in all of the correct paperwork, photos and fingerprints.
The ATF is in no rush to approve your tax stamp. I waited nearly 13 months for my first tax stamp approval. Use this link to find out what current wait times look like: Wait Times
Your dealer will hold the silencer you purchased the entire time. When they finally get approval and your tax stamp comes back, they‘ll call you. At this point you can go and pick up your tax stamp and suppressor!
Make sure you keep the original tax stamp and paperwork in a secure place. I immediately made several copies and put the original in the safe. Be sure to keep a copy with you and the suppressor wherever you go!