Yes, Silencers are Legal
You do not need a license to purchase a silencer, but you do have to pay a one-time $200 tax for each silencer you purchase.
You also must:
- BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OF AGE TO PURCHASE A SILENCER FROM A DEALER
- BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE TO PURCHASE A SILENCER FROM AN INDIVIDUAL ON A FORM 4 TO FORM 4 TRANSFER (CONTINGENT ON STATE LAWS)
- BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE TO POSSESS A SILENCER AS A BENEFICIARY OF A
- TRUST OR AS A MEMBER OF A CORPORATION
- BE A RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
- BE LEGALLY ELIGIBLE TO PURCHASE A FIREARM
- PASS A BATFe BACKGROUND CHECK WITH A TYPICAL PROCESS TIME OF 60-120 DAYS
- RESIDE IN ONE OF THE 41 STATES THAT CURRENTLY ALLOW CIVILIAN OWNERSHIP OF SILENCERS
- DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT YOUR STATE ALLOWS SILENCER OWNERSHIP
Silencers are legal but are regulated by federal law and on a state-by-state basis. The National Firearms Act (NFA) branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) ultimately controls any transfers; this branch registers all silencers. Individuals, corporations, and trusts can legally purchase and possess silencers in 41 states. However, if you are an FFL dealer, manufacturer, peace officer, or member of a law enforcement agency or other government agency, there are additional states where you can own a silencer.
How to Purchase a Silencer
- Choose your Silencer
- Once you choose your silencer, you pay for the product in full.
- The silencer will be stored securely & you will need to record the serial number as it is required on the forms you will be completing.
- Once you have an assigned product serial number, we will then give you two BATFE Form 4’s (5320.4) [Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm] with the serial number and various details of the product entered in the appropriate section.
- If you are making this purchase as an individual, you will fill in both copies of the Form 4 as well as a BATFE Form 5330.20 Certification of Compliance (certification of US citizenship) with your personal information.
- If you are making this purchase through your Trust or LLC, fill in the name and address of your Trust or LLC; a Form 5330.20 will not be required.
- At this point, if you are purchasing the silencer as an individual, you will need your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) to sign your Form 4. Most often, this is your local Sheriff, Chief of Police, or deputy/officer appointed by the CLEO to sign on their behalf. While at the police station, have two copies of finger print cards made – this will be needed when you mail in your Form 4.
If you are purchasing the silencer through your Trust, you will not need the signature of your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer or fingerprint cards.6. Finally, send in the following items to the BATFE according to whether you a purchasing the silencer as an individual or through a Trust/LLC.
CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE OUT TO THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES
BOTH COPIES OF THE COMPLETED TWO FINGERPRINT CARDS
TWO PASSPORT PHOTOS
COMPLETED FORM 5330.20
TRUST OR LLC:
CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE OUT TO TO THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES
BOTH COPIES OF THE COMPLETED FORM 4’S
A COPY OF YOUR TRUST OR LLC’S ARTICLES ON INCORPORATION
*We recommend sending a check instead of a money order. When you see that the check has cleared, you’ll know that your paperwork has been received and is in process.
6. After your paperwork has been processed and approved, the BATFE will affix a stamp to one of the two Form 4 copies and return it to us. We will then notify you when the paperwork arrives, and you’ll then be able to pick up your item!
Easy as That! Now Stop by to check out our huge inventory and choose your silencer today!
Benefits of Silencers
Silencers offer many practical benefits for civilians, law enforcement officers, and members of the military alike. One of the most common problems for shooters is poor accuracy due to the anticipation of noise and recoil. This anticipation causes shooters to flinch, experience slight tremors in the hand from nervousness, and sometimes close their eyes or blink right before they pull the trigger. All of these issues cause the gun to move from the intended target area. Silencers have very little affect on the accuracy of the host firearm, but because they dramatically reduce these negative effects, the shooter’s overall accuracy is increased.
GENERAL HEARING PROTECTION
The most common purpose of silencers is hearing protection. Even with earmuffs or plugs, guns are still loud enough to hurt your ears and cause ringing long after you are finished shooting — sometimes permanently. Earmuffs and plugs can be very uncomfortable; when shooting with conventional hearing protection, it is nearly impossible to hold a conversation or communicate with your shooting companions. This type of hearing protection also mutes your surroundings and makes you less aware of your environment. Silencers lower the sound signature of your firearm to the point where it is comfortable to shoot without the need for hearing protection, making your shooting experience safer and more enjoyable.
When shooting in close quarters, such as a room or hallway, gunfire is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss and immediate disorientation. If you are in the position where deadly force is necessary in order to protect yourself or your family in your home, applying earplugs or muffs is a liability both for time and situational awareness. Using a suppressed firearm in a home protection situation allows you to maintain your senses and better protect what’s most important.
Hunting with silencers is legal in most states; visit the American Suppressor Association to check the laws in your area. Hunters rarely use hearing protection because listening is crucial when tracking game. Unsuppressed gunfire from hunting rifles is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss; using a silencer-equipped rifle can save the hearing of both you and the friends you hunt with. Silencers allow you to maintain complete auditory situational awareness while reducing recoil and muzzle rise, which contributes to better accuracy and target acquisition by reducing the shooter’s tendency to flinch in anticipation of recoil. Increased accuracy also translates into more humane hunting, as shots are more effectively placed. Reducing the muzzle rise of a firearm also makes it possible for the shooter to follow up with secondary shots more quickly – a vital benefit when trying to take down game.
IT’S YOUR RIGHT
It is your right under the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America to keep and bear arms. Unexercised rights have a way of becoming “privileges.” The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to allow its citizens to hold the ultimate “check and balance” and to defend against an overreaching and tyrannical government.
HEARING PROTECTION FOR ARMED FORCES
Noise-induced hearing loss is a serious threat to our men and women in the military and law enforcement communities. In 2014 alone, hearing damage was the #1 disability claimed by veterans, with claims totaling $2.26 billion. Much of this hearing loss occurs due to repeated exposure to gunfire, both operationally and in the training environment. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), any exposure to noise over 140 dB causes immediate and irreparable hearing loss; unsuppressed handguns and rifles generally create a muzzle report well above this threshold. Silencers protect against hearing damage from gunfire, thereby negating unnecessary occupational risk and liability.
IMPROVED SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
The ability to hear is a crucial part of achieving optimal situational awareness; even more so than vision, your hearing can make the difference in life or death situations. The use of unsuppressed firearms — or the use of earplugs or muffs to counter their effects — is a serious impediment to operational effectiveness, situational awareness, and effective communications. Silencers free up the use of your hearing, thereby increasing the chance for operational success.